Another Rant about Gay Marriage and the Church

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One thing that seriously turns me off about the Roman Catholic Church is how many Catholics are just blind followers and seem to have their brain turned to mush. A tradition stretching back 2000 years should have a least a little more solid intellectual basis for statements that are made.

Obviously, not ALL Catholics are this way- and many are pro-gay and pro-women priests. I happen to know many good Catholic people who would call into question many teachings of the Church; I digress.

One commenter on a recent entry stated that it’s perfectly acceptable for an infertile couple to have sex because they didn’t render the condition of infertility upon themselves.

Excuse me? So as long as nature doles out the condition, it’s okay?

Well, by that line of reasoning, since gay people are born gay and are gay through no fault of their own, they should be able to get married- whether or not the sexual act is closed to the gift of life.

But let’s also get real. The reality underlying the situation is that you have Catholics who, like so many other people, just want to feel that they’re right and that they’re better than other people, and it’s much, much easier to condemn gay people if you yourself aren’t gay.

While some readers suggested that sexuality has to do with self-mastery, it’s also easy for a straight male who’s married and having sex to talk about that sort of thing.

It is entirely one thing if one decides, completely of one’s own free will, to abstain from sexuality as a sacrifice or devotion to God. I have no problem with that, seriously. That’s a personal decision. But when an organization begins trying to tell us something that just isn’t in line with reality that I’ve experienced personally and that’s been supported by the experience of many other people and as well as that horrible thing called science, I begin to get a little fussy when they continue harping on it.

The same thing goes for women in the priesthood. There are all kinds of pseudo-intellectual gymnastics that the Church uses to say why women shouldn’t be in the priesthood, and the idea that it could have been a cultural bias and artifact from the past, which is a relatively quick and simple conclusion, is not one of the considerations that’s made. Instead, the whole “Men and women are different and each have their roles” idea is taken and tossed around, and even if there are women who don’t feel that it’s an affront to them for only men to be priests, it doesn’t take a radical feminist to see that there’s some severe patriarchal abuse going on here.

Holy Mother Church, I suggest that instead of getting involved in gay marriage and continuing to bar women from the priesthood, you should align yourself with the Holy Spirit, get over your pride, reinstate the Tridentine Mass, and get back to being the Vehicle of the Sacraments instead of the Hypocritical, Pseudo-Intellectual Moral Authority Du Jour complete with Guitars and Drums at Mass. Your track record is not very good as it is, and you’re rapidly becoming the laughing stock of the world.

Your friendly neighborhood ranter,

Beaux


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The Not-So Consistent Path of a Seeker

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It is unfortunate that among seekers, we often find that we cannot stick with one particular path or that it seems that one particular path comes constricting or that we see something that we encounter articulated better by another path. Often we lose sight of what we’re attempting to accomplish. Reminding one’s self to not get caught in artificial categories and identifications is incredibly difficult when the very ego that’s destined for annihilation needs those identifications in order to walk into its own grave, as it were.

But that’s the way it goes. Some people, namely those who don’t really get religion, never have to convert, never have to question, never have to bother with the meaning of it all. They want to say a little prayer and follow their little rules and hopefully, when they die, they will get a reward for being good. And those naught ne’er-do-wells? They get punishment. Eternally.

Some people may attempt to attack me for that oversimplified version of what a lot of evangelical Christians believe- but that actually sums it up pretty well, at least for this area, and from what I’ve seen in the Christian book market and online Christian forums and hear from the mouths of such Christians, I pretty much think that the summary isn’t too far off base. The reality is that this would even characterize a lot of Catholic Christianity as well, which pains me to say and greatly saddens me all at once.

Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t about getting to Heaven. It’s never been about getting to some eternal paradise in the sky. That isn’t the point of Christianity. The unfortunate aspect is that this precisely how Christianity is marketed to so many- it appeals to both Greed, as in Greed for Heaven, and Fear, as in Fear of Hell.

Now, please don’t misunderstand me in my saying that- I don’t dismiss that possibility of other realms and that we may be reunited with kith and kin in the great hereafter, it’s just that I don’t think it works like this world in the slightest sense, and that we’re fooling ourselves if we think when we pass from this life into the next that we’ll simply enter into a very earth-like place, except with more light and clouds and mist. Or I could be totally wrong about this, but then, if so, I’ll take it.

Anyway, the point is, for the seeker, things are going to have to change at one point or another. One will end up in different traditions at some point, one will practice something that isn’t totally kosher with some other system at one point, and it all comes back to the fact that we’re actively seeking after something. The problem is that the something is so occluded that it takes years and years to find it, and then in discovering it, well, we happen upon the Ineffable that Christians like to call God and realize the real implications of using words like “Lord” and “King of Kings” and “Alpha and Omega” do little justice to the sheer tremendous Ground of Being of which we’re speaking. You can’t begin to contain God. You can’t begin to fathom Him (or Her or It.) It just doesn’t work that way. We use such words because of the Awe-Inspiring One, we use such words to adorn Him, but He is always, always, MORE.

The Eucharistic Reality of Christ is highly important. We are always in the Presence of Eternity, and the Holy Eucharist is the founding Reality made present to us. What we think happens is that the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ, and all kinds of ridiculous rationalistic tendencies have moved against the Mystery of the Real Presence because they miss the deeper philosophical point of the ritual. We think somehow that the Holy Eucharist is Christ coming into the world, but the reality, the Holy Eucharist is Christ also drawing us into Eternity- the reason the Eucharist is placed in a monstrance and adored is precisely because the Holy Eucharist is the Reality around which everything else centers. We are taken from the basic, everyday reality, into the Underlying Reality, the REAL REALITY, as it were.

It’s late, I’m tired, I should be meditating, and I pray a Gnostic Church would open just down the road from me. Ramblings, as usual, but great ramblings at that.

Beaux


To Drive My Point Home

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This is the Nicene Creed, sung in Latin. Much different than simply reading it on Wikipedia, especially if you were in a Church, singing it with the congregation.


The Increase in Marian Devotion

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One of the titles given to the Blessed Virgin Mary is “the Seat of Wisdom.” Now, perhaps I misunderstand what this means, and I wouldn’t be the first Gnostic accused of “reading into” something, but the underlying meaning of “image of Sophia” jumps out at me immediately. Troy commented many blogs ago about Mary being an image of Sophia in the early Church, and I would be inclined to agree that this is why Marian Devotions simply refuse to die down.

A deeper reasoning is that one cannot stop the Divine Feminine. There appears to be a deeper necessity within the human psyche to honor the Divine in terms of the Feminine, and for whatever reason, the viral version of patriarchal consciousness has attempted to destroy the reverence for the Divine Feminine. Is it a matter of power and control? Perhaps- I’m not totally sure what the deal is and may never know.

In the modern era, the Divine Feminine has been such a major issue that many evangelicals end up leaving their tradition and heading on over to Wicca and various forms of Paganism- and who could blame them? Sadly, the opposite problem then arises in many cases where the Divine Masculine is ignored and underplayed and given a secondary role to the Divine Feminine.

There is no point in attempting to inwardly conform to the expectations of other people when it comes to religion. The issue I’ve had is attempting to justify why I pray to the Blessed Mother, and for a long time, I was even suspicious about the Marian devotion in the Catholic traditions.

Those days have come to an end. The reality of the matter is that the Blessed Mother is the major articulation of the Divine Feminine inherited in my own religious culture, and thus I will honor the Divine Feminine in the Blessed Mother, who also is the Seat of Sophia. Marian Devotion is synonymous in my mind to Sophian Devotion.

For me and a few others, there’s been a recent increase in Marian Devotion for reasons we don’t quite understand. I definitely am enjoying the new scapulars that I have, as they’re a form of “Worn Remembrance.” The scapular also hangs in such a way as to touch the back and front Heart Chakra, so I think that, too, points to translating Remembrance into a tactile mode that’s more efficient than the mental chanting of the dhikr. The dhikr hasn’t been disposed of, though- I’m not stupid, as I know what happened the last time I just stopped saying it. However, I do find that the Remembrance of God seems to be more direct now and less about reference, if that makes sense.

I remember writing a blog earlier this year where I gave up on Christianity again, only to be brought back into in some manner a fourth time. Boy, I’m just asking for it, am I not? I will say that the gumption I have now includes that fact that while I may not able to call myself “Christian” and while Christians may not claim me as one of their own, what I can say is that I identify with Gnosticism, and I will call myself “Gnostic” with no need for approval from ANYONE or ANY group. That doesn’t mean I’m not part of the Church; what that means is that I’m dealing with some pretty heavy esotericism that the Church Exoteric doesn’t handle very well, praise be to excessive legalism and pedantry.

The point is this: you will step on someone’s toes no matter what you do, no matter what you say, no matter where you go, no matter how you attempt to approach Nirvana, because most people are just too caught up in themselves to care, and most people honestly have better things to do (at least in their minds), and of course, THAT’S FINE. It’s fine if they want to go to Mass to get enough energy and grace to find a good career or be more creative, or if they meditate to build up self-esteem. That’s all fine and dandy and okay- no one should be judging people who do that, and it’s all too often that it happens.

But yes, someone is going to be silly and use only theoretical/book-knowledge to attack you for what you do, and some people can’t conceive of things otherwise.

What I mean to say is that for all the criticism that one can do of, say, the Nicene Creed, there’s a huge difference between reading the Nicene Creed on your computer on Wikipedia and saying, “It says, this, this, that, and means X,” and actually standing in a traditional Catholic church, reciting the Creed in Latin with the congregation. The Creed means more than is immediately apparent, than is immediately stated, but boy, you try to suggest that to a lot of Catholics and atheists and everyone in between that something may be implied that isn’t immediately stated aloud or read in the Creed, and everyone gets their panties in a wad and begins screaming “reading into thing” and generally have no idea why you would suggest that maybe things go a little deeper than the surface reading, and no, I don’t mean that you can just take the Creed and elaborate on it and give a general historical/rational commentary. I mean that the Creed actually says things in it, conveys things, that take some deciphering, that have mystical meanings, that will tell us about REALITY.

But the nay-sayers shall come, and it’s hard when BOTH SIDES are ready to come at you. Or maybe someone will wake up and see what I mean, and let’s hope that’s the case.

Beaux


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