Wednesday, September 23, 2009


... what's that saying about getting soft in your old age. I wouldn't call it softness but a gradual temperateness based on life experiences.

Two separate instances had me thinking today; one was a conversation I had tonight with a friend that was sparked by the post below titled a tired argument and the other was inspired from this post by Thom.

Here's where admit an ugly truth that needs to be acknowledged...

I have judged people based on their political affiliation. My judgements have been made with the same ignorance as those who use the race card when confronted with opposition to Obama.

I am just as guilty of making sweeping generalizations and assumptions about people, why... because they may have on an Obama t-shirt or bumper sticker on their car. They must be idiots or bleeding heart liberals. I have nothing in common with this person, they are worthy of my disdain etc etc.

So while I bitch and moan about the class mate who assumed I was a racist because I am not in favor of socialized medicine, I turn around and make the same snap judgment about someone else based on their political affiliation.

I doubt very seriously this post will win favor but I do think it needs to be acknowledged. Once we look past labels, racist and liberal, we can appreciate the person in front of us, the people we are forced to interact with on a daily basis.

I am glad I didn't shut out my friend the moment I found out he was liberal, as I probably would have done in the past. I would have greatly missed out. I am also glad I didn't disassociate with Thom after he came out, like other bloggers did. These are both very funny and insightful men.

Maturity is being able to respectfully disagree and then build on commonalities. Ignorance is not moving past differences or refusing to communicate because of them.

Thom's post had me thinking about why I no longer consider myself "trad". I consider myself Catholic and faithful to the magisterium. I don't need to label myself further with the universal Church. When I decided to start dating again I got emails admonishing me, questioning my "status" and asking very intrusive questions. Most I ignored, other I replied to. The tone was the same, a select group of puritanical letter of the law Catholics who set them selves up as the morality police. I get letters from women who tell me I should not curse on my blog claim or that I am not a "real" Catholic because I post pictures of actors I find handsome and my irreverence is not humor but near occasion of sin.

It's a good damn thing I love being Catholic so much because I can see where this behavior would drive people from the Church. I think they do more harm to the Church then any number of tambourine masses*.

There, I said it.

I am not posting this to be intentionally confrontational or shocking. I post this because I bet I am not the only one who is guilty of this; completely refusing dialogue because we know the other person is not of similar thinking. I still consider myself conservative politically and religiously, if we must use a label, but I am trying really hard to not nurture my sins of intellectual pride and moral superiority. If this post can help one person realize a middle ground does exist, not all liberals are hell bound heathens, and that ignorant snap judgments are perpetuated on both sides then I will consider my honest exposure worth the risk.

*The Crescat does not advocate the use of tambourines in mass, or any place else.


RJW said...

I agree

Old Bob said...

Good post! "Don't judge a book by its cover" is an old and true saying, but I, like many many others, often forget it. Thanks!

Angela M. said...

You are a wise woman, Kat. I always try (don't always succeed) in meeting people where THEY are. If you aren't communicating with those who don't share your values how will they ever be exposed to Truth? And I know a lot of pagans, heathens and liberals who are better Christians than some of the Catholics I know.(but tambourines still suck!)

Anonymous said...


Claire Christina said...

Thank you. This is important and was well-said. :)

nazareth priest said...

I am tired of being "labelled", as well.
I want to be Catholic, thoroughly Catholic, in the best meaning of that word, deeply immersed in the Sacred Tradition of our Faith, not tied to cultural baggage.
It is very difficult in this "political climate" not to be categorized...I think your post is a helpful reminder for all of us not to be so ready to "pigeonhole" people or condemn them; the importance of "speaking the truth in love" is so needed today. So many former friends and acquaitances have villified or condemned me for wanting to be faithful to the Catholic Tradition according to the magisterium and leadership of the Holy Father.
I just want to say, "Why?"; "Aren't we all in the same communion of the Church?"
That answer I cannot give for those who do not want me to be in the Catholic fold.

shussong said...

When I was becoming Catholic one statement that always stuck with me is "no more or less Catholic than the Pope." I am a JPII Catholic, and what was important to him is important to me. He LOVED World Youth Days, and touched the youth in so many different ways. He LOVED the rock music and the youth and the total atmosphere. I also attended Mass in underground churches in the Middle East where a real live priest MIGHT pass by every 2-3 months, and the laity was instrumental in keeping the Catholic faith alive at the risk of their OWN lives...also attended Masses in muddy jungles and schorching hot deserts gladly celebrated by priests, not in elaborate vestments and glorious churches but in muddy cammie uniforms and leaking tents...

So I have little patience for those who get ate up because the Latin is not congugated properly, or Heaven forbid we do have guitars playing liturgical music--even though the Psalms do say "praise God with the lute and stringed instrument." Those who have all the time in the world to whine and complain perhaps might be better off with a dose of humility by serving a volunteer mission for a year in Africa or the Phillipines or India..get a glimpse of the face of the REAL Catholic Church, that of the desperately poor.

Peace.. Sara

Mark Scott Abeln said...

Dear Kat,

Thank you for seeing things our way.

In exchange for your cooperation, we shall be sending you tickets to a liturgical tambourine and dance workshop in Malta.

Best regards,

Secret Government Agent

Fr. Erik Richtsteig said...

Your still a Trad. (Don't let the bozo fringe ruin a perfectly good concept.)

Lee Gilbert said...

Look, you have a stunningly beautiful blog. Keep it up over the months and years and you might find yourself becoming (to whatever degree) a public figure in the Church. You would like to do this without any words of reproof or challenge or intrusive questions. In effect you said, “If anyone wishes to challenge me, let him know here and now that I consider him to be a prude, part of the morality police, an intrusive twit.”

You could have said, “Look, I know I may get in over my head here from time to time. Just want you to know that I am open to whatever fraternal correction you might want to throw my way from time to time. But, “Investigate first, then find fault.” Be gentle, be courteous.

"Let the just man strike me; that is kindness; let him reprove me; it is oil for the head" (Ps 141:5).

The last thing in the world we need is for people who occasionally find the courage to draw a line in the sand somewhere to be told they can damn well keep it to themselves.
We need the exact opposite.

Among my father’s papers I found a letter from a friend of his that reminded my dad of one of the mottoes of their hard-drinking, hard smoking youth: “We don’t smoke and we don’t chew, and we don’t go with girls who do. Our class won the Bible.” That was the irreverence of 1936 when Christianity was in possession. But something else is in possession today, and one challenges it by drawing lines in the sand, asking intrusive questions and wagging a warning finger.

It is the New Irreverence.

I am tired of mousy and frightened “non-judgmentalism” in myself and everyone else. As for driving people out of the Church, they aren’t leaving because of little old ladies wagging their fingers at hemlines, but because of all the allurements that the world, the flesh and the devil offer us today and the general tenor of unbelief..

If someone reproves you justly or unjustly, well or badly, you should be grateful and thank God there is anyone left to even attempt fraternal correction- one of the spiritual works of mercy let us not forget. They are concerned for your eternal well being and that of your readers.

Anonymous said...


Don't look now, but your youth is showing.

All ideal. But first please show me a "liberal," or someone who voted for The One that doesn't champion the slaughter of innocents.

You'll not find them.

I have several friends who fit into that sad category. Although I may love them and they me, I am still viscerally aware, at a very elemental level, they're enemies of God and nearly everything I love.

Now, go out and follow my earlier advice, and put the damn bumper-stickers back on your car.

Mary Ellen said...

I've always said that I am too Catholic for some, not enough Catholic for others. I think your honesty and your irreverent humor is refreshing to read.

I've also written about the labels that are being thrown about the Internet. Being called a racist early on in the Presidential race was a big shock for me, and I must admit I was really hurt. I was also called a heretic on a Catholic blog. The way I figure it is that those who stick those labels on me haven't a clue as to who I really am, so why should I care what they think?

There's a lot more to a person than their political husband is an Obama supporter and left the Catholic church a long time ago, and I haven't divorced him...yet. ;-)

I love your blog...stay happy, you make me smile and I love to smile!

Smiley said...

im as guilty of this. and Chirts tells us to love the sinner hate the sin that is what being Chritsin is about its a difficult task but its something we have to work towards.

Jane said...

I completely understand your positions, and agree with you. I am currently involved in an ongoing discussion about the future of the Extraordinary Form Mass in my parish, and because some of us would prefer the Ordinary Form in Latin to EF Low Mass, we're getting flack.

Then there's the whole liberal thing. I am a graduate student. Fortunately, I'm in music history, and there's little opportunity for political discussion in class--it just doesn't come up. But there's plenty of time outside class, and know what? Some of my classmates and professors actually don't think I'm unreasonable or a bad person because my political positions are different from theirs.

I do have to admit, though, that I get upset when I see that Prius with the Obama sticker on it in the parish parking lot. It's really, really hard not to make assumptions about that person.

Lola said...

Could you post MORE Delicious Actors?

May I suggest more Gerard Butler?

truthfinder said...

I'm far too old for the "delicious actors" --- unless you want to publish photos of OLD ones? :)

Mark Scott Abeln said...

If Kat posts more pictures of actors, then I will be forced to post photos of fashion models.

Carolina Cannonball said...

Lee, when it is done with charity and fraternal love I am open to correction. When it is done in the spirit of moral superiority and spiritual pride I don't dignify the person with a reply. When I emailed that I am CINO fake Catholic and a harlot that is more of a forked tongue lashing than a finger wagging.

Do you disagree with my other point though, that prejudices are perpetuated by both the right and the left and that "we" as a collective whole as just as guilty?

I was trying to condense this post with two subject matters, but the message is the same... labels are a way of pigeon holing a person, making condemnation self righteous and easier to dish out.

Lee Gilbert said...

Carolina Cannonball,

Thanks for your response. I am very unhappy and sorry that you have received anything like those messages, Carolina. Certainly, it is no way to speak to a sister in Christ...or to anyone.

Regarding your other point, it's hard to identify, really. We are living in the People's Republic of Portland and frankly I am very apprehensive about flying my colors as a Catholic or a Conservative for fear of having my car keyed or tires slashed. In the last campaign I wondered what would happen to a person standing on a street corner here holding a sign that said anything like, "Say No to O" Anyone who wanted to use that sign as a way of discerning the entire syndrome of my beliefs and attitudes before tearing me limb from limb would probably have been correct. Of course, you know and I know that I am a nice guy, and doubtless it is true that many Obama sign displayers are probably nice guys and wonderful people, together with being pro-abortion, etc.

This town is what happens when the Jimmy Stewart character in "It's a Wonderful Life" commits suicide. In other words, where there is no salt or light, no one standing up to anything but being very, very careful to be non-judgmental in the face of the most outrageous stuff.

Honestly, we are so concerned to be polite, pleasant and innocuous, when we should be bristling like porcupines and throwing off lightning bolts every few hours.

So right now I am all in favor of moving the entire Catholic populace much more in the direction of what they now see as being "judgmental." Maybe it's a passing phase.

But while I am being difficult, please count me among your biggest fans, Carolina.

Ben said...


I am the heathen liberal she was referring to in this post. I can assure you that I DO NOT "champion the slaughter of innocents." I forgive you for your unfortunate choice of words and hope that you would actually speak with those friends you love about this. I think you'll be surprised that you probably share more in common on the subject than not. However, when you use words like that, it does nothing to start a dialogue; rather, it closes minds and hearts.

They are not enemies of everything you love. Think about how can you write that so freely on a blog, but not say it out loud to the friends that you love. Turn off your computer and start a real dialogue.

Good luck to you.


Terry Nelson said...

Drop dead.

(Just kidding - ROFLMAO!)

Carolina Cannonball said...

Terry, take your meds and go to bed. Your manic is showing. :-P

Terry Nelson said...

LOL! I'm glad you knew I was kidding. I like meds.

G said...

It seems like you've hit on something here. Our dear RCC in this country is splitting at the seams with all this name calling & rancor. It seems like alot of that rhetoric has bled over from politics into the Body of Christ. I'm not a theologian but I know that's not right. So your point is well taken.

As a cradle Catholic, I just have to thank you with hanging in there. Like anything else in life, our blessing is our curse. Our blessing that we're universal means that there's all different stripes. I apologize on behalf of those who unload on you.

I think the commentor who said he was told to be no more or less Catholic than the Pope has it right. After 60 yrs as a Catholic, I can tell you truthfully that nothing, not even my beautiful family, is more important to me than my faith...which I want to live faithfully till I die...that's why I follow the Pope!