Tag Archive for religion

an open letter to my former parish

Dear St. Therese Parish,

I am writing this letter to state how shocked and appalled I am by you allowing signs supporting Proposition 8 to be posted on your property.

Yes, I am well-aware of the Catholic Church’s stance on homosexuality, and thus on gay marriage, however there are a few things I would like you to know, if not fully understand or accept.

I was born into a Catholic family and attended Catholic school for eight happy years, four of which were on your very grounds. I am proud of my background for many reasons, spiritual and otherwise. One of the things that makes me most proud to be a Catholic are the teachings I learned from Christ and from the community.

What I learned in Catholic school and what I will keep with me for the rest of my life are Christ’s teachings on social justice. I learned that Jesus did not look down upon others, and in fact taught us that we are entrusted with the welfare of the poor and meek, the outcast and forgotten. I learned to value love and equality above all things. I am choked-up, as I write this, to realize the hypocrisy that you, or we, as representatives of the Church are displaying openly for the world and community to see.

By displaying signs that support a proposition that intends to alter the California constitution to take away civil rights from a certain law-abiding sector of the population, you are supporting a grave injustice.

The fact is that as a homosexual woman, I have to disagree with you on your belief that the way I was born and choose to openly live is an abomination, and I do regret that I will never be able to marry within your walls, however, I respect your right as a religious institution to believe, teach, and uphold your ideals. There is no question of that, and I do not know anyone who truly opposes your right to enforce that inside your Church community.

What I need you to know, what I am sure of, is that one of these Catholic ideals is not and has never been bigotry and the denial of basic civil rights to American citizens, or citizens of the world at large. At the end of my life, I may be judged for my choices, one of which, incidentally, was not to be gay, but I feel confident in the knowledge that I have and will continue to do right by the teachings I learned as a little girl, to treat all those around me with honor and respect, even if I disagree with certain aspects of their lives, and that it would be inherently wrong to make or enforce laws to treat those people differently. If anything, we, your gay and lesbian brothers and sisters, are often downtrodden by society, and as such are some of the very people whom Jesus taught His followers to look after.

I do not expect to change your mind regarding homosexuality because of this letter. That is not my aim. What I do want to say is that having these signs in my neighborhood and on the property of a parish I once belonged to and occasionally attend is extremely offensive. To many, including myself, this is no different than displaying propaganda seeking to ban interracial marriage, which we must remember was also once against the law. I do not believe you would allow someone to or choose to post racist or sexist signs on your property, and as these signs represent a similar prejudice, I would appreciate it if you would remove them immediately.

Respectfully,
Amanda-Faye

sisters, sundays, and a touch of sacrilege.

it’s not that i’m too lazy to write, it’s just that i don’t FEEL like it. i’m in a bit of a funk right now. it’s that age-old problem of what to do when your life is nearly perfect except for the inability to function in society, you know? no? oh. anyway, i’ve been thinking of a lot of ideas, and writing in my mind, but when it comes time to sit in front of my laptop, i can’t quite think of what to say.

Sisteractit is, however, rather out-of-line that i have not written anything for the entirety of may. i love may! june is my favorite month, but may is pretty good too. i had a great weekend because friday night joe and i hung out with my bff jenny. jen was over the moon because she just moved to a new apartment and her mom gave her all these old VHS tapes. we watched “sister act,” which is obviously a classic, but i haven’t watched that movie in years, and it is shocking to realize how utterly plausible the ridiculous plot seemed when i was ten. holy shit! it was during this time, a time i would venture to say comes in almost every young catholic girls’ life, that i was deeply considering becoming a nun. all musical comedies aside, it always just sounded like the good life. i went to a school that had very few sisters walking around, so all the nuns in my mind were perpetually young and beautiful, like rosy-cheeked saint bernadette, who were lauded for unselfishly giving their lives to god, never had to be any (mortal) man’s servant, give birth to any brats, and who were never lonely because they always had their sisters, aka bffs, around. i guess i pictured it like one big slumber party. then as i got older (okay, one year later) i re-discovered feminism, thought about how i’d never get to have sex or go out dancing, and how i’d have to pray all day and probably clean stuff. so much for that vocation. still, i got a little misty on friday night while watching sister act. something about when the young, skinny nun finds the powerful voice within her diminutive body gets me every time. seriously, i totally teared up and hid it from jenny and joe.

saturday was low-key because we had a big day on sunday. in keeping with the religious theme (whoa…), my little cousin was having his first communion and because we had a potluck to go to after and because, for some reason, joe really wanted to, i had to ditch my plans to avoid actually being at the church ceremony. if there’s anything i hate worse than sitting through an hour of mass, i don’t know what it is, but strangely, sunday wasn’t so bad. it was nice having joseph there, all dressed up in his button-down shirt and tie, sitting among my mom, aunt, and cousins. i actually felt quite relaxed. i like that joe likes doing family things with me. i told him that was the first time i ever had anyone i dated come to church with my family before and he didn’t believe it, since i was with my ex for five years, but my ex thought my family was creepy, what with our “seeing each other all the time” and “liking each other”. i definitely promised myself i would never date anyone who isn’t family-oriented again, and i told joseph that very early. he’s not used to big families either, but he is getting more comfortable with mine all the time, and they LOVE him, which makes me insanely happy. still, it was a little strange being “out” at church, but i guess we will never know if we were First_communion“passing” as a straight couple or if the rest of the congregation was simply being polite, as i didn’t notice any looks or anything, and that church is fairly conservative. anyway, it was a nice day. i found the picture to the right on google images, but this is basically me at my first communion. well, actually, i wish i was that bold. i’m probably more like the girl giving the side eye (my new favorite slang phenomenon) in the background. i do remember i WAS NOT HAPPY that day. not only did i have to go to mass, but i had to wear an uncomfortable dress it took forever to pick out, have my hair fussed with in the morning (i always hated that), and hang out with the other kids, who i disliked immensely, especially the boys. it’s kind of a wonder i didn’t turn out to be a raging bull-dyke, but within the next two years, i had a caboodles filled to the brim with wet n’ wild, tinkerbell cosmetics, and my mom’s cast-off estee lauder lipsticks. i’ve been a high femme ever since. i’m still not overly keen on boys, though, just joe mostly.

the potluck we went to after was tons of debauched gay fun, so everything evened out. i took some pictures, but they are stuck on my camera. i will post them asap, though. some of them are HILARIOUS! it was a pre-cinco de mayo theme potluck, so everyone brought mexican food. i made my mom’s friend noemi’s recipe for vegetarian ceviche and also attempted my very first flan (which i documented in photos every step of the way.) i’ll tell you all about it when i get the pictures up.

well, that’s all for now. i’m trying to sort some things out, so i’m really sorry i’ve been inconsistent with posting. i think it will all be worthwhile in the end, for the both of us, dear reader, but that will remain to be seen.

hey, isn’t it funny how when it rains it pours? i mean, like, on friday we watched “sister act” then that night jenny gave me a note she kept forgetting to give me that one of my best friends from junior high who ran into her mom sent along for me. in the note, she confirms that yes, she is planning on becoming a nun. then there was the first communion mass, THEN tonight we were watching “true life” on mtv and there was this rich OC bitch who wanted to become a catholic nun. crazy! maybe i should look into this “god” thing again. i mean, for the last couple of years i have pretty much been religiously devoted to susan miller of astrology zone, but maybe that’s because she keeps saying, Jesuscompindirectly, that i am totally going to become a famous writer. well, i read my may horoscope and she said that yesterday was supposed to be an amazing day for me, but NOTHING happened. granted, i did not leave the house all damn day, but still, JESUS! seriously, jesus? are you still there? we may need to have a talk… do you guys think he’s on iChat?

i know “if you scared, go to church,” but what if what you scared of is church???

Sthchur9 i was born and raised catholic. this means i was baptized, memorized all the essential prayers, attended catechism class, confessed my sins, made my first holy communion, and was forced to go to church every sunday of my childhood. i attended catholic school from grades 5-12 and made my confirmation sacrament, thereby deepening my commitment to the church. the seven sacraments of the catholic church are: baptism, eucharist (communion), reconciliation (confession), confirmation, marriage, holy orders, and anointing of the sick.

if you can’t see how my completion of this path is going to be problematic, please read on.

there are many reasons i stopped going to church. there is the whole guilt and shame thing. then there’s the anti-choice and anti-gay/gay marriage thing. oh, and the hypocrisy thing. but all that is somewhat arbitrary if you ask me because there are parishes out there that are at least somewhat more tolerant and joyful. once i let my mom drag me to her parish in boyle heights and i saw a bunch of teenagers there, one of which was a cute little baby dyke with a rainbow patch on her backpack, and my years in all-girls catholic high school were almost too liberal. it was amazing.

the main reason i can’t go to church is that it bores the everliving fuck out of me. as soon as i step into a church, any church, i break into a fit of uncontrollable yawning. i am not trying to be funny, i am dead serious. it is extremely embarrassing.

it’s not the praying or the singing i mind. in fact, i like those parts. i like automatically knowing what to say in unison with everyone else. it’s sort of creepy, but sort of cool too. your whole life, you have been memorizing the exact same words as the girl sitting next to you in church, and here you are, both wearing your nicest clothes that aren’t too slutty, speaking the same words, knowing when to kneel, how many times to cross your heart.

the ceremony is just really long, i guess. and it’s hard when you just don’t know… if you really believe. i just don’t know. i do the sign of the cross each night, if i remember, or when i go on an airplane, or pass by a car accident, but why? i thank god at times and curse him at others, but is he listening?

was it god who gave me my family, words i love, and kitty cats? was it the hand of god that struck down my christian dior sunglasses, because i swear, they were nowhere anyone could even touch them, and i certainly didn’t do it!Img_2048_1 i suppose i may never know. i can say, “yeah, i don’t believe that crap!” all i want, but right afterwards you’ll catch me looking skyward, giving the good lord the old “j/k!” face. plus, i don’t happen to think that hardcore religious people and hardcore atheists are all that different.

whatever it all means, growing up catholic has definitely enriched my life. i learned a lot about love, forgiveness, and tolerance from the teachings of jesus, am really good at memorizing words, and know some interesting bible trivia, which is great at parties.

also, i get to know about stuff like the seven sacraments. the sacraments are neccessary for salvation. marriage and holy orders are the sacraments of vocation, marriage being obvious and holy orders being a man becoming a priest or deacon, and a woman becoming a nun. it’s kind of an either/or thing, except with deacons, i think they can marry. recently, i heard that one of my best friends from jr. high is becoming a nun. this is such a huge trip. she is the person i spent hours talking about what our “first time” with a boy would be like and how the idea of not having pre-marital sex was waaay out of date when we were thirteen. now she is gonna be a cloister nun, and as it turns out, my first time involved zero boys, four breasts, two fingers, and three spankings.

life is weird.