Monday, February 13, 2012

I'm on the verge of leaving...

...something that's been a big part of my life. What, you might ask, would that be? Not my marriage!! That's my anchor.

But my church. I am sorely displeased with the Council of Catholic Bishops. They are in some sort of uber-bubble in which they are ignoring the fact that it's 2012. It's time for them to acknowledge that 98% of us use or have used birth control. And it's not always for family planning.

And let's face it, when you're in the mood, what's wrong with sex for fun with your husband or wife? What's wrong with something that helps keep your marriage solid and helps you reconnect with someone you love? It's not always about procreation. Otherwise, we'd be dogs who go into heat 2 or 3 times a year, breed, and then have litters.

See this:

This preacher is pointing out something glaring. The bishops need to stop preaching politics from the pulpit. That is where you become a political committee and not a church. That is where you risk really annoying a good chunk of your membership.

However, we Catholics have developed a "skin." We show up; we participate; we take Communion. And then we go home and practice birth control. Some of us are divorced. Some of us may never marry our significant others. Some of us do other things contrary to the beliefs of the church, like maybe being pro-choice. Maybe having had an abortion or being married to someone who has. Maybe participating in the candidacy of a politician who's aired beliefs not sanctioned by the Catholic Church.

We just go about our business, taking what we want from the Church and really not being "wholly" Catholic, because that would mean we'd contravene some of our own closely held beliefs.

I spent some time with a friend, both of us Catholic. And we chatted. Both of us have used birth control, mostly for medical reasons. She mentioned in passing that she "got a letter from her doctor" explaining that she had both endometriosis AND fibroids. Both of those conditions, for those who don't know, are very painful and can cause excruciating and long periods. Click on the words; the Mayo Clinic goes into really good detail.

My first thought, though I kept it "inside" was "Why on EARTH would you get a letter??" Unless you need it for insurance purposes (which may be, because we work for a Catholic organization), it's certainly no business of your priest's - just like the confessional is sacred, so is what happens between you and your doctor.

I had fibroids. I also have what my doctor charmingly calls "incompetent reproductive organs." Which means my plumbing can achieve a pregnancy. And it's done so four times. But I've only managed to bring TWO of them to fruition, and both of those resulted in premature births. My doctor basically told me, "I don't care if you're the first cousin of Pope John Paul II - you need to NOT be pregnant anymore."

So I went on birth control. Then, after years and years of periods so bad that I was anemic, lasting 2 weeks or more (even the pill didn't fix that), causing me to land in the ER more times than once, I had an endometrial ablation. That's a nifty little procedure that cauterizes your uterus. I'm "lucky" enough (yeesh) that I still have periods at age 54, even though I am certainly ready for the "off" switch. But they're "normal" - 3 or 4 days instead of 14 - 18 days. And only 1 day that's "heavy" instead of 9 - 10 of them. For the most part, during a period, I can stand up from a sitting position and not feel as if my uterus and all its contents will be hitting the floor.

I'm angry that the bishops don't want to see reason. I'm angry that Catholics themselves will probably do what they've always done: show up on Sundays. We need to show our feelings with our wallets AND our rear ends. As in, don't put your rear end in a pew if you disagree with the bishops' position.

If you do agree, then by all means: show up. Support the Church and its hierarchy. But leave the rest of us to our own consciences. And stop asking for the tax exemption as long as you're using your pulpit to preach something that's not in the Gospels. What did Jesus say? "Render unto Caeser what is Caeser's."

Politics belongs to Caeser. Not to Jesus.

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