REBLOGGING MAUREEN  12:31 pm July 19, 2010

This Is What Happens When Maureen Dowd Gets It Right

by Sara Benincasa

Just gaze into these eyes and talk yourself down.So, Our Lady of Ginger Devotion Maureen Dowd wrote about how the Molesty Church says the attempted priestification of ladies is pretty much just as bad as making out with infants. And for the first time in the history of Reblogging Maureen, MoDo reached out and grabbed my heart. You know why? Because she’s pissed off, and she means it, and she cares, and you can smell it coming off the page. And she hit a raw spot inside me that even Goo Gone cannot heal.

Being raised Roman Catholic in America is weird, to say the least. If you live in the Northeast, you are likely to be surrounded by many of your own kind. This is good, in that you feel less alone with your incense and your guilt. But it is also bad, because you grow up thinking it’s completely normal for men who claim to be celibate to tell you who is suitable for screwing, and when, and how, and why. You will learn, as Maureen Dowd and I did, that sex is for procreation only; that birth control is almost the same as abortion; that abortion is murder; that murder sends you straight to hell; and that homosexual men are evil buttsexing Sodomites who all want to destroy Society As We Know It and who most certainly are not welcome at Bingo Night.

You will most likely not learn much about homosexual women. It ain’t sex if a schwang ain’t involved, so lesbians are sort of just sinfully smushing their vaginas together, or something. But you will meet nuns, and you will learn that they are also celibate and are married to Jesus, kinda. Maybe you will grow up and spend a month one summer volunteering at a Catholic medical clinic, and your supervisor will be the most heartbreakingly bitter dyke you’ve ever met, and you will wonder if things would have been different if she had been able to choose a partner she could touch without shame and even bring this partner to Mass, maybe while toting along a kid who eventually ends up shrieking during the homily and has to be hastily escorted to the crying room.

It is possible that all the things you hear in church will roll off your back, that you won’t absorb them and take them with you into adulthood. It is also possible that you will feel terror in your heart every time you masturbate, and not just because your door doesn’t have a lock. Maybe sometimes, to your immense horror, you’ll find yourself attracted to someone of your own gender. Maybe you will hit yourself to knock those feelings out of you. Maybe you will grow up confused and scared and have a hard time getting into the whole “sex thing” because you think that something evil shouldn’t feel good.

Maybe one day you will find yourself hunched over in an empty pew in a basilica, praying to God for forgiveness because you took something called “emergency contraception,” which you know in your heart just means “quickie abortion” even though the woman at Planned Parenthood (who is probably the first incarnation of an angel you will actually encounter) explained the difference. And maybe you will feel a little better, like God still loves you and this really is His house, where all are welcome, no matter how grave their sins. Jesus was nice to criminals and he gave them a chance to become better people, and that’s what this whole place is about, right?

And then perhaps you will decide to light a candle, so you walk up to a very pretty shrine in the corner and realize that it is dedicated to the all the “unborn children” who have been “murdered” by selfish sinners, and it will finally hit you, at long last, that you are not welcome here, and that there is no solace for you here, or for your out-and-proud gay friends, or for your annoying lesbian friends who still won’t stop quoting Ani DiFranco, or for your unmarried sex-having friends of any orientation, or for your divorced friends, or for anyone who eschews hateful fairy tales in favor of reason and rationale. And maybe you’ll cry about this, because you are sad, but also because you are so very relieved to quit a club that builds the loveliest structures in which to spew the ugliest hate.

Maybe sex will get better after that.

Maybe you’ll learn more about the world’s oldest and most successful corporation. Perhaps you’ll discover that while the Roman Catholic Church is a fascinating institution that provides food, water, shelter, art and inspiration to countless people around the world, it is also a sick cult that attracts, nurtures and protects people who would really like to put their dick inside your little boy. Perhaps this is why all those big important Catholic men are so against abortion; for a pedophile, it’s the ultimate cockblock. After all, you can’t hump a toddler who was never born!

All of this is to say that I have not one snide criticism of Maureen Dowd’s column from this Sunday. There’s no vampire humping or ball bouncing, but there is something smart and righteous and angry, and you should read it, especially if you are one of the billion faithful around the world, and especially especially if you still put money in the collection plate on Sunday.

After reading your MoDo, try this little mathematical game: Calculate just how much of your cash goes to fund the protection of child rapists. Can’t be a lot, right? I mean, your priest, he’s a sweetheart and not at all pervy, and most of the money you donate goes toward the new church bulletin and the landscaping and the orphans in Chile, right? What is it, maybe like a penny or two, probably, that makes it into the diocese’s coffers or the Vatican’s bank account or wherever that kind of money might be put? Sure, just a few cents.

Now multiply that by one billion people under the sway of liars and pederasts and charlatans, most notably an ex-Nazi who refused to fire a U.S. priest who raped more than 200 deaf boys.

And take your goddamned money back.

So Sara Benincasa’s not Muslim? We guess not. Her “Reblogging Maureen” appears Mondays at Wonkette.

 

Hola wonkerados.

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{ 123 comments }

ManchuCandidate July 19, 2010 at 12:38 pm

After reading this all I can say is that I’m glad I wasn’t raised Catholic (unlike my real US American cousins.)

Going to a Scots Presbyterian church, we only had to deal with the “early to bed, early to rise, makes man healthy wealthy and wise” crap.

Way Cool Larry July 19, 2010 at 12:40 pm

Sorry, Sara, I couldn’t get past “sinfully smushing”…too distracting of an image… but you do seem very sincere today.

Hutch July 19, 2010 at 12:42 pm

Does the Catholic Church have a Facebook page, because I want to ask them to return all the money I’ve donated and then unfriend them. Women priests an offense on the same level as child sexual abuse?!? Keep chipping away at those arrogant clerics with universally bad personal hygiene, Maureen.

I_KILL_ZOMBIES_ALSO July 19, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Screw that. I’m not reading MoDo, no way she’s ever topped this in her career. Without snark (or requisite dick joke). Well done, Sara. Well done.

phanie July 19, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Thank you Sara. I joined commenting just to say that.

Lazy Media July 19, 2010 at 12:44 pm

Oh ho ho, so we’re being serious today? Here’s another Tale of Religion In America. If you are a 10-year-old atheist, and you live in East Tennessee, do not advertise this fact. Try not to talk religion with your schoolmates at all (this is particularly difficult during revival week). Don’t despair as one after another of your former playmates gets saved during their teens and becomes boring, sanctimonious or both. Try not to be sad when they Facebook friend you 30 years later, and you see that their favorite book is still the Bible, and the first way they describe themselves is Christian.

Rosie Scenario July 19, 2010 at 12:44 pm

Right on, Sara.

Signed,
A former, lapsed, “recovering,” Catholic.

PsycGirl July 19, 2010 at 12:45 pm

“Because she’s pissed off, and she means it, and she cares, and you can smell it coming off the page.”

Are you sure you were referring to the MoDo column and not, say, this very post?

norbizness July 19, 2010 at 12:46 pm

I lined up the first letters on each row of the column, and it spelled “I STILL LOVE YOU MICHAEL DOUGLAS.”

tribbzthesquidz July 19, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Refudiate sexual dysfunction: Avoid churches, Yahwehs, Golf-tees, Republicans, Starbucks, HP Lovecraft, etc. etc.

Sharkey July 19, 2010 at 12:46 pm

They tried to raise me Catholic but it was just too boring and confusing. I am a proud agnostic.

Panquake July 19, 2010 at 12:47 pm

Christ, I’m glad I was raised a Jew.

hockeymom July 19, 2010 at 12:48 pm

Here’s why my husband will always have my heart.
He agreed to agreed to make my Italian mother happy by marrying me in the Catholic Church (I didn’t care, wasn’t much of a Catholic).
He listened to all the pre-marriage financial “advice” (don’t forget to give the church 10% OFF THE TOP) without saying a word.
He even kept his mouth shut during the sex counseling portion of the wedding preparation.

However, right before the ceremony, when the priest took us aside to sign the wedding documents and promise to raise our children in the church, my husband looked him straight in the eye and said “If you ever lay a fucking hand on any of our future children, I will kill you”.

And then we got married!

Aurelio July 19, 2010 at 12:49 pm

You got me with “Goo Gone.”

SayItWithWookies July 19, 2010 at 12:49 pm

I grew up nominally Catholic, though my parents had lapsed shortly before I was born and were ambiguous about the whole thing. For the longest time I was under the impression that men weren’t required to believe anything in the Catholic religion, since only the women went to church voluntarily, and the men went every so often at the grudging behest of their wives. Fortunately most religions are all bathwater and no baby, so ditching them completely is no great loss — though there is that cultural adjustment.

Hutch July 19, 2010 at 12:52 pm

[re=620313]hockeymom[/re]: Your husband has my heart, too.

proudgrampa July 19, 2010 at 12:53 pm

You wanna talk guilt, try recovering from Southern Baptist.

Signed,

A recovering Southern Baptist.

Fucking religions.

Carson July 19, 2010 at 12:54 pm

It says a lot that on the one occasion that Dowd doesn’t mail it in with a one-draft column full of droll puns, it’s noticed and worthy of this lengthy comment.

Oblios Cap July 19, 2010 at 12:54 pm

[re=620307]tribbzthesquidz[/re]:

Why is HP Lovecraft in there? He wasn’t advocating C’Thulu worship.

L. Ron Hubbard belongs on that list, though.

SmutBoffin July 19, 2010 at 12:57 pm

Re: “schwang”

I don’t thing I have ever heard/seen this word before. I mean, it sounds right, being a combination of “wang” and “schlong”. Well, if “refudiate” is now a word, I guess “schwang” makes the cut.

JMP July 19, 2010 at 12:57 pm

Speaking as a former Catholic, I just want to ad a “yeah” to that; and add a mention of one of the Church’s cruelest methods of psychological control, confession. From the time one’s just seven or eight years old, they tell kids that they have to confess to and forgive every single sin they commit, or else will be condemned to hell.

And the list of sins is very long, especially as it goes into thoughtcrime; desire to commit a sin is a sin, so even thinking about sex must be confessed. It’s what instills the great sense of guilt the Church creates, and I still feel it even though I’m no longer a believer. There’s also something really creepy about an anonymous priest sitting the booth and listening to the parishioner describe every sexual “sin” they’ve committed.

I guess I should be glad that the nuns at my grade school didn’t tell us gay people were evil, just that they were mentally ill, should be pitied and needed prayers to change them back.

One Yield Regular July 19, 2010 at 12:57 pm

I’m not a Catholic, and never was, but it’s always seemed to me that most of the church’s problems could be solved if they simply forbade men from holding any positions of authority. Long live Pope Joan!

Also, non-Catholic inquiry to all you Catholics regarding “orphans in Chile” – does this mean they’re not called “pagan babies” anymore?

freakishlystrong July 19, 2010 at 12:57 pm

Fucking Righteous. “Sara Benincasa” who ever you are.

Asa Hawks July 19, 2010 at 12:59 pm

Eloquently put, Sara. As a recovering semi-catholic I pretty much agree with everything you’ve said here.

PeteJayhawk v2.0 July 19, 2010 at 12:59 pm

Boy, I’ve never been happier to have been raised casually Lutheran.

Mr Blifil July 19, 2010 at 1:00 pm

You had me at smushing vaginas.

jagorev July 19, 2010 at 1:04 pm

Thank God I’m an Anglican

Hutch July 19, 2010 at 1:04 pm

[re=620327]freakishlystrong[/re]: Now look, Sara… Benincasa, if that really is your name, may I tell you that I have a very, very good idea. Fixed courtesy of Fr. Strangelove.

Dr. Zoidberg July 19, 2010 at 1:05 pm

Wonderful, wonderful writing. Thanks, Sara.

Dr. Zoidberg July 19, 2010 at 1:06 pm

[re=620318]proudgrampa[/re]: Southern Baptists are nuts, aren’t they? I spent thirty years in Waco, Tx, home of Baylor University, and the entire town is insane.

weejee July 19, 2010 at 1:06 pm

The Catholic church, most churches really, is a bidness. Their response to date has been very businesslike, minimize losses. Please fill me in on how this is much different on moral grounds than say BP re: the Gulf or Locherbie? The only thing that might generate an appropriate respone to this nightmare, and it is, will be Adam Smith’s invisible hand. To make that happen will require that all most of the faithful, the stockholders really, walk out the front door. Maybe, and only maybe, then the Board of Directors, the Cardinals, and the CEO, Papa Douche, will wake up. Short of that, ain’t gonna happen. Bugger is as bugger does.

anonymousryan July 19, 2010 at 1:07 pm

I’m glad I was raised Episcopalian. It’s like being Catholic without being fucked; either figuratively, in the head, or literally, by a priest when you were 9.

lumpenprole July 19, 2010 at 1:08 pm

That was weird. Lucid Dowd. I wonder if Noonington felt this disturbance in the Force.

Extemporanus July 19, 2010 at 1:08 pm

Sara, some of life’s best lessons are learned at the worst times under the fierce fluorescent…

facehead July 19, 2010 at 1:08 pm

The first time I masturbated I thought demons would show up and punish me immediately, but Cheney and Bush didn’t get elected til much later.

tacdab July 19, 2010 at 1:12 pm

Well done.

ArugulaTeleprompterz July 19, 2010 at 1:13 pm

I too am a recovering catholic, now Atheist – a recovering catholic from the South no less. At least you were around your own kind as a catholic in the Northeast. All the southern baptists and non-denominational “christians” look at Catholics as a scourge, kinda like a jew or, god forbid, a muslin…

Anyway, this was awesome and I have nothing to add – an absolutely perfect description of my experience with The Church.

Undeterredbyreality July 19, 2010 at 1:13 pm

Wow. Just wow. Snark off. “A club that builds the loveliest structures in which to spew the ugliest hate.” Perfect.

Katydid July 19, 2010 at 1:14 pm

My former brother-in-law, a former altar boy, is, well, strange, and always very angry, and my former mother-in-law torments herself with thoughts that a priest did something to him 40 years ago. I’m not really sure if she has any specific reason to suspect that he was molested, and I’m afraid to ask her. But she still goes to church every week and forks over that check. Maybe I should give her this post.

tribbzthesquidz July 19, 2010 at 1:14 pm

[re=620321]Oblios Cap[/re]: Yes, L.Ron and/or Crowley are more deserving to be on such a list. Mentioning Lovecraft just felt a little more off the beaten path. VC Andrews would have been even funnier to say.

user-of-owls July 19, 2010 at 1:15 pm

Sarah,

It’s healthy to have a righteous rage now and again. Still, it can leave a bitter taste in your mental palate. So here’s the heartwarming story of my local hero, 10-year old Will Phillips. I’ll leave it in the candy wrapper for you…that way your inevitable smile will break out while you’re reading it. Humanity is, evidently, redeemable. One brave young boy at a time.

http://chicago.gopride.com/news/article.cfm/articleid/11426689

p.s. I had forgotten all about the crying rooms!!

Prommie July 19, 2010 at 1:18 pm

Sarah, you are one of us, the miserable sinners? I would not have guessed, I thought you were sephardic, I was waiting for you to break out the ladino. Now, come here by me, we have to talk. This guilt thing, you’re getting it all wrong, you are getting the wrong impression from the constant condemnation of the sins of the flesh that filled your childhood. Just because someone told you that you are a vile, degraded, hopeless sinner throughout your formative years is no reason to feel guilt as the takeaway. You are suffering from the same false impression of the RC church’s views on sin that is causing people to be so confounded and confused at how the Church can say that ordaining a woman is worse than fucking an altarboy.

Its because of original sin, the doctrine that says we are all vile, imperfect, hopeless sinners from birth, that true virtue is simply impossible for us. You got the wrong impression, and caused this enormous guilt infestation that most US catholics suffer from, when you pridefully assumed that this “you are vile, shameful, disgusting sinners” message as a message for you, personally, and in particular. No no, Sarah, you are not particularly vile, sinful, or shameful, the whole point is that everyone is, everyone is inevitably vile and shameful. You cannot win, you are gonna sin, its in our nature, we cannot help it, we are gonna do all manner of vile sinful shameful things.

And the least of the sins are the simple, “animal” sins, your gluttony, drunkeness, and sexual hijinks, whether its premarital sex, homosexual sex, threesomes, orgies, blowjobs, ass-fucking, its all the same, yes, even altar-boy fucking, just another venial sin of the flesh. We are fallen, we live in this imperfect flesh, and its part of our nature to err (I am really up on this part of the doctrine, because at least this far, I am still on board with Holy Mother Church, but not much further). So whenever you are feeling that guilt and shame thing just because you’ve been bumping uglies with a chick, or when you and I and Katydid do that threesome thing, take comfort in the fact that you are not alone, and you have nothing to feel particularly guilty or shameful about, you are just doing what we all do, sinning, its no big deal.

Sexual sins just ain’t such a big deal. The real sins, the huge sins, they are all conscious, mental sins, willful decisions to reject God, the church, and church teachings. The church takes these things more seriously, because you have no excuse for them. Like, say we do our threesome, next day, God’s not gonna be so mad at he, he/she understands, “hey, he has this throbbing cock, and quite a few cocktails in him, and that Sarah Benincasa, she has the sexitude that drives men wild with desire, I can understand” (this is God, talking here, by way of explaining why God understands these things). Thats why I would only get 5 Hail Marys and 10 Our Fathers and a stint weeding the church garden.

But you don’t have any excuse for denying the Trinity, there isn’t any tingling in your loins that drives you to helplessly doubt transubstantiation, so it is willful, intentional violations of dogma and doctrine that are considered far far worse sins than a harmless, hell, downright wholesome little threesome.

And thats why rogering altarboys is considered small potatoes next to ordaining a woman as a priest.

Oh, I forgot, you do have to understand that women are evil, in the eyes of the church. the Church is the world’s oldest “He-Man Wimmin-Hating Club” on earth. When you really get down to it and read your Saint Paul and your Saint Augustine, it becomes obvious that half, or maybe all, of the reason sex is held to be sinful is because it leads to consorting with women, who are of course evil. Thats also why the men don’t get that back dose of guilt, you see, we are like helpless prey before the evil temptations of womankind. Its all your fault, all of it, the masturbating and fornicating and threesomes and everything.

Now I am gonna

V572625694 July 19, 2010 at 1:20 pm

Saw the movie “The Invention of Lying” over the weekend. Didn’t much care for it (as I don’t like Ricky Gervais’ brand condescending kind of humor) except that it pointed out the obvious fact that religion is the biggest lie of all.

user-of-owls July 19, 2010 at 1:21 pm

[re=620355]user-of-owls[/re]: You can just toss that extraneous ‘h’ in the salutation. I won’t be needing it anymore.

Prommie July 19, 2010 at 1:29 pm

[re=620366]V572625694[/re]: That Bill Hicks guy was pretty condescending, too, its like he thought he invented atheism, and noone else ever thought of it before.

tribbzthesquidz July 19, 2010 at 1:30 pm

[re=620354]tribbzthesquidz[/re]: Not that I think I’m funny. Prommie has very funniez however. In addition to.

norbizness July 19, 2010 at 1:34 pm

I think the Bible was shorter than that one comment.

JadedDIssonance July 19, 2010 at 1:36 pm

As a recovering “Wheaton College Graduate” (and NOT the one in MA), I must send you, Sara, a Brava. Even though Wheaton “For Christ and His Kingdom” College refuses to employ catholics, my own particular experience with mind-control and misspent funds still virulent. Sucks that I paid all that money for a degree from a religious school and it’s doubly irrelevant seeing as I’m an atheist now.

ALIVE! July 19, 2010 at 1:38 pm

I was gonna suggest you might get burned as a witch, Sara, but you’re already doing a pretty good slow burn, apparently.

And [re=620355]user-of-owls[/re]:, wtf, Northwest Arkansas Gay Pride Parade? Is that for real? Because that is awesome.

Prommie July 19, 2010 at 1:41 pm

[re=620325]JMP[/re]: And don’t forget, the sin of failing to take adequate precautions to prevent yourself from being subjected to circumstances which will tempt you to sin, the sin known as “the knowing occasion of sin,” consciously allowing yourself to be in a situation where you will be tempted to sin, which is of course, a sin. I think I just sinned by making fun of the sin of insufficient vigilance in temptation avoidance. You should stop reading me, as I am tempting you to sin by joining in my irreverence towards this sin.

chascates July 19, 2010 at 1:43 pm

And the conservatives insist that the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. Choose your poison.

V572625694 July 19, 2010 at 1:44 pm

[re=620370]Prommie[/re]: One thing atheism doesn’t need is proselytizing.

Prommie July 19, 2010 at 1:44 pm

[re=620383]norbizness[/re]: You talkin’ to me?

Godot July 19, 2010 at 1:45 pm

[re=620294]Hutch[/re]: Women priests an offense on the same level as child sexual abuse?!?

The Church is going to start allowing women priests? Awesome!

tribbzthesquidz July 19, 2010 at 1:46 pm

Baptist raised here. As a teen I remember laying in the bathtub trying to deter my onanistic impulses by thinking, “What if I were to go to hell for ever jacking off again?” Still whacked it but felt very immediate guilt upon ejaculation, especially if I had oh so verboten s-s-s-same-s-s-sex(guilty stuttering) fantasiez.
Took years to get over that. Religion is child-abuse. Adult-abuse. Likewise.

JadedDIssonance July 19, 2010 at 1:48 pm

[re=620388]JadedDIssonance[/re]: Bah! Some Education! You can’t even form a proper sentence!

sezme July 19, 2010 at 1:53 pm

I’m a lifelong atheist, but that was righteous, Sara! Don’t know if I should bother reading MoDo after that; I don’t think what you said could be improved.

tribbzthesquidz July 19, 2010 at 1:59 pm

[re=620402]V572625694[/re]: Indeed. Problem is, even stating, discussing, or any way acknowledging ones athiestness is considered by most faithy people to be proselytizing.

weejee July 19, 2010 at 2:00 pm

Since we is all confessing like, I had split flock parents. Got Sister Caligula and teh catastrophism first followed by hard-core Calvinism conform_or_else_mation. Then, thank you Jeebus, I found Saint James Clerk Maxwell and his twelve disciples equations. They showed me the light, and I’ve been a Maxwellian ever since.

user-of-owls July 19, 2010 at 2:03 pm

[re=620392]ALIVE![/re]: It is both. Real and Awesome. And the fact that courageous young lad who refuses the recite the pledge (Because, he says, we most assuredly are divisible and do not afford liberty and justice ‘for all’) was unanimously elected Head Marshall of that gay pride parade is real awesome!

Doglessliberal July 19, 2010 at 2:03 pm

[re=620414]sezme[/re]: I also am an atheist, but if I tell people I am an atheist, they react as if I had killed their puppy.

I am beyond disgust and revulsion at this ever-unwinding tale of horror coming out of the church. Every new tidbit I hear on the radio about this abomination they call a church sets off another one of my rants. “You have GOT to be kidding me. What manner of thinking leads an institution to move a child rapist to another venue? So they can provide him with new and fresh childflesh to rape? How is this not pimping children to priests? ARRRGGGH.” Etc.

sezme July 19, 2010 at 2:05 pm

[re=620417]tribbzthesquidz[/re]: I’ve never experienced that. I agree that atheism doesn’t need to be preached. If someone asks me, I’m happy to tell them, but otherwise, I don’t see how it’s anyone’s damn business. Ultimately, adopting a set of beliefs should be a personal choice, not the result of losing an argument.

Doglessliberal July 19, 2010 at 2:05 pm

[re=620417]tribbzthesquidz[/re]: Yes. And apparently, since all goodness comes from Jesus, we have no motivation to do be good and must be horrible people. Or so I have been told.

Egregious July 19, 2010 at 2:06 pm

A Nun with medical expertise working in an AZ clinic authorized an abortion in order to save the mother’s life. The Church excomunicated her, which is not only spiritually harsh but also left the nun impoverished. Meanwhile, Priests that have been molesting children maintain their posts. I think that says it all in terms of the gender relations and the church.

As an aside, isn’t it the Nuns that do all the work in the Church? Besides saying mass and occassionally harming a helpless child, do the Priests do any of the heavy lifting?

user-of-owls July 19, 2010 at 2:06 pm

[re=620419]weejee[/re]: Equations?! You’re probably a homoscedastic too.

user-of-owls July 19, 2010 at 2:09 pm

[re=620423]Doglessliberal[/re]: Puppycide? I didn’t know you took your first name so literally.

Ducksworthy July 19, 2010 at 2:16 pm

If there’s anyone out there who just can’t kick the mass habit (so to speak) you should check out the the Liberal Catholic Church. They broke with Rome in the 15th Century or so. They ordain women, have loads of “doctrine but no dogma”, conduct a traditional mass but in english (or whatever) with loads of incense and multiple priests in traditional (15th century) brightly colored robes.

weejee July 19, 2010 at 2:17 pm

[re=620428]user-of-owls[/re]: Si, the only crosses I do are of the del cross variety. Sorry Katydid he made me.

Zorg July 19, 2010 at 2:18 pm

Uhm, you’re trying to have a career as a comic?

sezme July 19, 2010 at 2:20 pm

[re=620423]Doglessliberal[/re]: Probably comes down to where we live. Here (in Toronto) the subject of my (lack of) religion just doesn’t come up in normal conversation unless I am very close to someone, or someone is freakishly nosy, or unless the JWs come to my door, but I have a notice posted there just for them, instructing them to please go away.

But having spent years of my childhood in rural America, I do understand the shock that admitting atheism might engender.

red sky July 19, 2010 at 2:21 pm

Wow, great piece Sara. Writing can be cathartic. Sounds like you’ve probably eased your soul a bit getting this on paper/ink/e-ink/tubesy mumbo jumbo, whatever. I had read MODO’s article this morning and was equally impressed. Hadn’t seen anything this soulful and honest out of her in years.

Words July 19, 2010 at 2:22 pm

[re=620351]ArugulaTeleprompterz[/re]: Ditto, except for the atheism part. Still trying to figure that out.

Brava, Ms. B. and thank you.

springfield_meltdown July 19, 2010 at 2:24 pm

Awesome post. I think it summed up many people’s experiences including my own.

Doglessliberal July 19, 2010 at 2:25 pm

[re=620430]user-of-owls[/re]: hah! Not intentional, and I was actually trying to think of an awful thing. Perhaps kitten killer would have worked better. Or Palin supporter.

Doglessliberal July 19, 2010 at 2:26 pm

[re=620454]sezme[/re]: I live in suburban DC (in VA), and trust me, religion is pervasive. This country is just astonishingly religious.

TakingAmes July 19, 2010 at 2:26 pm

As if we needed yet more proof that the Catholic Church hates women. And I’m even more gay for Sara now. Which is a sin. Except for the sex part, since there wouldn’t be a schwang involved.

4tehlulz July 19, 2010 at 2:35 pm

I’d just like to note that Nazinger was one of the more moderate candidates to replace JP II.

The next pope is going to be much, much worse. We’ll be lucky if cliterectomies don’t become requirements and the deicide charge against the Jews isn’t reinstated.

dudeabides July 19, 2010 at 2:38 pm

I would smush my vagina to yours any day of the week, Sara.

Heywood Jablome July 19, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Doors.Blown.Off. Look out Layne, Sara’s movin’ in on your anti-RC vitriol!

I’m not sure if you delegated this to her or she’s apple-polishing to win your favor over the flock of hirelings you’ve brought on recently.

Not that I care. Just as long as Sara keeps postin’. Those other kids need to step up their game, ’cause Sara’s the alpha pup in the litter at the moment.

(Throws virtual roses over the footlights)

grendel July 19, 2010 at 2:46 pm

[re=620302]Lazy Media[/re]: And also rural Georgia, also. It’s always fun when Southern Baptist evangelicals come to visit to “save” you… Try as you might to be gracious and use your southern manners, they won’t leave you alone until you tell them you don’t believe in God and you’re not interested.

user-of-owls July 19, 2010 at 2:49 pm

[re=620449]weejee[/re]: Just put down the calculator and slowly walk away.

TakingAmes July 19, 2010 at 2:51 pm

[re=620499]grendel[/re]: No, all ya gotta do is this. When they ask you if you know where you’re going after you die, say “Yes” and nothing more. Just look them in the eyes. They’ll get flustered and walk away.

BlueStateLiberal July 19, 2010 at 2:53 pm

For an interesting read, check out Anthony Borgia’s “Life In the World Unseen,” the story of a dead minister who comes back to reveal that most of the doctrine he spouted was bullshit, and that, apparently, the dead are laughing their asses off about how we totally screw up religion and just about everything else.

qaf July 19, 2010 at 2:55 pm

Get a room.

Katydid July 19, 2010 at 2:59 pm

[re=620464]Doglessliberal[/re]: I was minding my own damn business in CVS one day last December, and some fucking asshole comes up to me and shoves a booklet at me. The booklet was telling me to come to the Lord. Being an atheist, I didn’t want it. I politely handed it back to him and said, “I don’t want it.” He got really, really mad, and seemed incredulous.

The fuck? He assaults me, and then gets mad when I don’t want his shit.

progressiveinga July 19, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Wow Sara. As a recovering catholic, I had the same reaction to MoDo’s column but without all of those words. You master, me wimp. Hmmmm…….

Katydid July 19, 2010 at 3:10 pm

[re=620482]4tehlulz[/re]: In 2007 the Nazi Pope reinstated the Tridentine liturgy on Good Friday, which is pretty damn offensive to Jews.

After Jewish complaints, the Church amended it to: “Let us also pray for the Jews: That our God and Lord may illuminate their hearts, that they acknowledge Jesus Christ is the Savior of all men. (Let us pray. Kneel. Rise.) Almighty and eternal God, who want that all men be saved and come to the recognition of the truth, propitiously grant that even as the fullness of the peoples enters Thy Church, all Israel be saved. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.”

Still not kosher, though, in my formerly Jewish opinion. Why can’t everybody bud the fuck out of everybody else’s business? I guess religion wouldn’t be so much fun that way.

vitamins taken helmet on July 19, 2010 at 3:10 pm

[re=620302]Lazy Media[/re]: Wow. I thought I was the only atheist from TN. And you are correct about those Facebook friends. Everyone lists the Bible as their favorite book. Icky. Very icky.

Jim89048 July 19, 2010 at 3:11 pm

I fucking knew Hay Soos was a beard.

AnnieGetYourFun July 19, 2010 at 3:12 pm

That’s Mr. DiFranco to you.

(sorry, had to be the lone dyke)

Doglessliberal July 19, 2010 at 3:12 pm

[re=620523]Katydid[/re]: How Christian of him!

uncletravelingmatt July 19, 2010 at 3:12 pm

[re=620427]Egregious[/re]: Used to be that in certain orders, all the nuns had jobs (usually as teachers, nurses, etc.) They turned over their paychecks to the convent, ostensibly for the support of the older non-working nuns. Near as I could tell growing up, retirement age for nuns was around 97.

AnnieGetYourFun July 19, 2010 at 3:14 pm

Masturbating is supposed to be terrifying. At least, if you do it while skydiving, like I do.

HuddledMass July 19, 2010 at 3:17 pm

Epic and righteous, Miss Sara — Like that time Jim Newell laid down a truly majestic beatdown on Peggy Noonan, it warms the cockles of my heart (whatever cockles are.0

“Let righteousness roll down like the living water, and justice in an ever-flowing stream…”

Prommie July 19, 2010 at 3:26 pm

[re=620556]HuddledMass[/re]: <3, the cockles are the “3″. Don’t ask me why, but those are the cockles. I think its because if you look at one of the small clams known as a “cockle,” it has this shape, the traditional valentine heart.

Neilist July 19, 2010 at 3:31 pm

Not enough guns or Munching the Loofa.

(And, as an ex-Irish Cath: Who gives a SHIT about the Catholic Church?)

sezme July 19, 2010 at 3:33 pm

[re=620549]AnnieGetYourFun[/re]: Pics or it never happened.

Dog Trombone July 19, 2010 at 3:35 pm

“And upon this rock, the Church will founder.”

sharkchum July 19, 2010 at 3:41 pm

Sara you should get a Pulitzer for this!

tribbzthesquidz July 19, 2010 at 3:46 pm

[re=620549]AnnieGetYourFun[/re]: I would like to see video of that on the YouProne.

NopantsMcGee July 19, 2010 at 4:11 pm

Hellzablazin’ that’s damn good writing, Ms B. That’s all my comment need say. Pleasure to read it.

personman July 19, 2010 at 4:14 pm

Awesome article. Even Yahweh likes it: http://twitter.com/almightygod/status/18940655010

personman July 19, 2010 at 4:14 pm

Awesome article. Even Yahweh likes it: http://twitter.com/almightygod/status/18940655010

Sara Benincasa July 19, 2010 at 4:17 pm

[re=620549]AnnieGetYourFun[/re]: You are inspiring me to spend my free time in an entirely different manner.

Oldskool July 19, 2010 at 4:32 pm

Wow that brings back memories. Years you could buy certain types of holy cloth to gain an edge in Heaven, I think it was. Or maybe it was about degrees of sin. They loved them some degrees of sin. But by the age of twelve we all knew it was bullshit so we tried to stay away from the priesty guys and sneak off with as mucb wine as we could.

Sara Benincasa July 19, 2010 at 4:41 pm

[re=620651]personman[/re]: Thank you for linking to that! I didn’t even know the Almighty God was so pleased with it until I saw your comment.

DoktorZoom July 19, 2010 at 5:06 pm

[re=620360]Prommie[/re]: Re. “Original Sin,” I’ll just leave this here.

bebopluvr July 19, 2010 at 5:46 pm

“food, water, shelter, art & inspiration?”

You’ve gotta be kidding me. I, raised Catholic, have seen a fair bit of the 3rd world, and, more important, Catholic missionaries in (in)action. I took a trip to Fiji awhile back. You know what the RCC has done for Fiji? Women now need written permission from their husbands for birth control of any kind. Babies are obviously encouraged, even though a large percentage of them die of dysentery before they reach 1. More than one Fijan told me that he goes to an infant’s funeral about once a month. I didn’t see any nuns running around explaining to the locals how boil water, etc., to reduce dysentery.

I didn’t see any food, water, shelter, art or inspiration being handed out by either the RCC or CoLDS (Mormons), both of whom have a significant “missionary” presence there (Taveuni, to be specific). We Catholics hand out a lot less food and water than people think. Maybe the art and inspiration you speak of are good, I dunno. Never seen any, unless the Sistine Chapel counts as ministering to the 3rd world.

Read about the Catholic church’s beautiful ministry in the Belgian Congo (“Leopold’s Ghost”). You’ll read a lot more about limb separations and floggings than about inspiration. And how the Church supported it in a systematic way.

So, please skip the illusion that the Catholic church is running around the world doing tons of good, compassionate deeds. We Catholics do nothing for free. I keep saying we ’cause, you know, no matter how hard you try, that crap is inside your head if you’re a lapsed Catholic.

There. I feel better now ….

Hutch July 19, 2010 at 5:58 pm

Sara, thanks for mentioning the the 200 deaf boys abused. I immediately recalled Harry Shaerer’s fabulous song, “Deaf Boys.” http://www.mydamnchannel.com/Harry_Shearer/Deaf_Boys/HarryShearerDeafBoys_4878.aspx

Sara Benincasa July 19, 2010 at 6:05 pm

[re=620797]bebopluvr[/re]: I was just trying to be evenhanded, sort of.

Oldskool July 19, 2010 at 6:45 pm

Some day I’m going to have a t-shirt that says “Eight years of parochial school and all I have to show for it is fucking anxiety”.

Guppy06 July 19, 2010 at 6:56 pm

“If Roman Polanski were a priest, he’d still be working here.”

No he wouldn’t! He ass-fucked a girl, and had the common decency to drug her first. That’s not the papal playbook at all!

Zorg July 19, 2010 at 7:15 pm

[re=620549]AnnieGetYourFun[/re]: You sound like someone I would enjoy watching a bullfight on acid with or collecting infant king cobras.

Malketeer July 19, 2010 at 8:04 pm

And just remember: it’s practically impossible to get elected in this country without at least giving a convincing performance that you believe in this crap.

To borrow a phrase: we are so freakin’ doomed.

TCmac July 19, 2010 at 8:54 pm

Wow!
I just got home from work followed with exercise which put me in a good mood.
Then get the double hit of great writing by someone more bitter than myself. Made my day.
She is new, but this chick is a keeper. Give her a raise, or at least performance based bonuses based on number of comments. Fuck the RCC.

JMP July 19, 2010 at 9:06 pm

[re=620797]bebopluvr[/re]: Hey now, the Catholic Church has done a lot of good over the ages. Why, if it wasn’t for her faith, Joan of Arc wouldn’t have had hallucinations which inspired her to lead the French peasants to rise up against the oppression of the British Kings, and go back to being oppressed by the French kings, as was proper. And Thomas Aquinas brought back the study of Greek and Roman science and philosophy that eventually sparked the Renaissance; granted, it was banned by the Church 800 years before in the first place, leading to a technological regression without which we might be living on Mars and Titan by now, and he was condemned as a heretic, but still! And hey, they did apologize for the shit they did to Galileo about ten years ago; better late than never then. They also stopped the Ottomans from conquering Europe, who were much more tolerant of minorities and technologically advanced than the Europeans.

LindsayBluth July 19, 2010 at 9:53 pm

I had an “Ohmygod, YES” moment in this post about this line:
Maybe you will grow up and spend a month one summer volunteering at a Catholic medical clinic, and your supervisor will be the most heartbreakingly bitter dyke you’ve ever met, and you will wonder if things would have been different if she had been able to choose a partner she could touch without shame and even bring this partner to Mass…

Except, replace supervisor at a Catholic medical clinic with “female science teacher at your all girls Catholic school.”

And nuns. Is there a hetero oriented nun on the planet, anywhere? I remember hearing stories of young teenaged women leaving Europe to come live together all in one house, in the secluded countryside of the New World…..uh, for Jesus? Or something.

Zorg July 19, 2010 at 10:20 pm

[re=620933]JMP[/re]: Actually, the Pope inspired the Fourth Crusade, whose leaders decided to skip fighting the Moslems in the Egypt and instead sack Constantinople, a Greek Christian city that was the bulwark of Europe’s defense against Moslem expansion into Eastern Europe. That fatally weakened the Eastern Roman Empire, and gave us four hundred years of Ottoman occupation of the Balkans and Greece. But, but, uhm, the Carthusian monks do make a delicious cordial, Chartreuse, which expiates a lot of the silly mummery, burning alive of heretics, propping up tyrannical regimes and general whoring after all forms political power. Or, maybe it does not…

AxmxZ July 20, 2010 at 2:53 am

I can’t imagine what it’s like to be born into a fairy-tale cult that essentially puts a huge blind spot in the reasoning capacity of the minds it infects. Kudos to anyone who finds it in themselves to break out.

bebopluvr July 20, 2010 at 10:42 am

[re=620907]Malketeer[/re]: Reminds me of a (true) story: During JFK’s presidential campaign, Jacqueline K. said
“I don’t understand all the fuss about Jack being Catholic. After all, he’s such a poor one.”

bebopluvr July 20, 2010 at 12:28 pm

[re=620398]Prommie, in reply to JMP[/re]: First principles, Prommie. All sin flows from thinking. Stop thinking, leave your brain at the door of your local church, and all is cleansed.

I think I’m in love.

SeeSw July 20, 2010 at 4:03 pm

My mother said to me the other day, “No matter what religion you are, you need to be a thinking person.”
And that is why we, a family of angry and dissatisfied cafeteria Catholics, pre-emptively took Ms. Benincasa’s financial advice and did not participate in the Annual Catholic Appeal this year.

Thank you, Ms. Benincasa, for the link to Ms. Dowd’s column, and thank you for your own piece. Both were galvanizing and achingly sad and I couldn’t get them out of my head.

FlipOffResearch July 20, 2010 at 11:11 pm

Sorry, late weighing in, but fucking brilliant Sara. Bravo!

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