Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Liberals at Midnight Mass (A Christmas Miracle)

I just got home to Jersey from Wisconsin where my partner's family lives. I even went to midnight mass with my partner's Catholic clam on Christmas night. Now call me crazy, but afterwards as I recalled the salient points of the service, I was surprised how much common ground there is between at least one Catholic priest and myself, a liberal queer activist.

During the sermon, Father Ed voiced his concerns with poverty and homelessness, the death penalty, war, and HIV/AIDS. He also stressed the need to love one another ("....now more than ever......") and of finding common ground. The tenor of the service was pragmatic, not at all the rigid dogma I expected.

In short, Catholic mass was a refreshing and joyous celebration of my own progressive values. I went begrudgly to the mass in the first place, and to be honest, I was grateful a thunderbolt did not go off when I walked inside, sodomite that I am. (wink)

Knowing about the generally misogynist and homophobic attitude the Vatican espouses, I feared the Catholic experience would be completely inconsistant with my values. For one mass' worth, i was wrong.


Anonymous said...

With Presidents like Dubya, who needs enemies?

PuckPan said...

Even worse is that anti-terrorism laws are now being used against unpopular speech.

Two writers have been arrested in America and extradited to foreign counties for the crime of "Holocaust Denial."

The legal technique used to do this is called rendition.

History is not a crime - at least it didn't used to be.

Anonymous said...

nce, long ago, before the anti-christs
took over organized religion, Catholics, Episcopalians and Methodists were leading institutions of classic liberalism, particularly as regards abolition, social welfare, labor organizing, etc. If they weren't so bowdlerized by the right wing bullies, they'd still be living up to their promise, which followed much more closely the "known" teachings of J.C.

The Catholic Church I grew up with in the 1950's was enthusiastically liberal, and Pope John XXIII was actually cool. Like everything else, the nazi wing has taken over the Catholic Church.

Anonymous said...

There are conservative Catholic Parishes and liberal Catholic Parishes so your mileage may vary.

I pray we'll get a good, progressive Pope one of these days. Probably a way to do that but it'd take centuries and a lot of progressives going into the priesthood and moving up the ladder.

Anonymous said...

There are really only a handful of issues that the Catholic Church has what appears to be a conservative position on, those of course include birth control, their position on homosexuality and marriage. But even on those issues, the real message of the church is not to condem, but to show love and compassion. There is a more vocal fundamental wing in the Catholic Church that is hard to distinguish from some of the most fundamentalist protestent sects, but they are not in line with the core teachings of the Church. Even though the Church may take a stand against a practice it is mostly to admonish the Church, not to influence politics unless it involves an issue such as war or the death penalty.