I have seriously written and rewritten this post three times, and they are all saved as drafts. Maybe I should get rid of it and let it go? My problem is that writing is a bittersweet experience for me. I often go back to things I've written before and have a little ego party thinking "dang, I'm cool." I apparently completely forget about what it took to develop and express clever ideas or took for granted I wasn't constrained by or wouldn't censor myself because of what my audience would think. I really didn't care what they thought because I wasn't representing anybody but me and I was unapologetic. I miss those days like super crazy.
And I'm an inefficient writer. I edit as a go. No stream of consciousness, no write it all out and edit later. I write very slowly because I organize and think in the moment. It's better to make an outline I know but my brain won't go there at least for blog writing. Clearly, in my job I use a lot more discipline. And I really care about form. I want my stuff to be easy to read, not too long, semi-organized writing. But I'm trying to do this frickin' post differently since I actually want to hit the "publish post" button.
I feel very uncomfortable about what's transpired in them thar parts the last couple weeks. Somebody wrote about how she's exhausted by the abortion and HHS contraception issue discussions. I wish I remembered who it was and I'd link it. Things got really ugly between people. Really gross. If you are a gentle soul that escaped this time by blogging about your baby or the events in your actual life, good on you. I wish I were you. But, I get kind of excited about civic affairs and I'm too stupid to leave well enough alone. It's really that simple.
I was harking back to a time of blissful innocence when you could debate ideas, even religious ideas and not be told you have no right to call yourself a Christian. I got into some pretty intense discussions, OK, it's coming back to me.... I belonged to an Anglican Church and the young adults got together to write a "code of Christian ethics." And it was for us, our little big church! The joy of officially decentralized religion. This was all presided over by a priest, a married one with children and I remember very intelligent and sincere talks about how we thought God was directing us and how we felt about what that meant for our daily lives and relationships. I'm starting to feel 23 again.
What I clearly didn't realize when I started the process to be confirmed in the Catholic Church and I swear what they didn't say in the RC.IA class (but what I later affirmed) was the dogma we expect Catholics to accept and support might be so unfamiliar to you that you'll believe you're living in an alternate universe. I'm stating a fact here so do not assume I'm criticizing the Church. I'm trying to explain the clear differences between Catholics and everybody else. I bet a lot of Catholics don't realize how different they are because they haven't really experienced another Christian denomination. Christianity without encyclical letters and additional teachings clearly makes a belief system much less complicated. You might respond that Church teachings are based on biblical sources so it should mean there's a fundamental uniformity to Christian beliefs but I'd reply that biblical interpretation is less than a straightforward and an agreed upon process. But maybe you know about other denominations and you still think your Catholic beliefs are working for you and should work for everybody else. And that's good!!! I am happy for you.
But what I'd said earlier about being able to debate ideas (yes, ideas, thoughts, opinions, totally separate from an action) in the Catholic blogging space has been fraught with disturbingly aggressive attacks. And it's giving some Catholics a bad name or reinforcing the idea that "you are either with us or you're against us." And that is very far from what I think all sentiments Christians should project and how we should be treating one another. And it's not where I want to be when I feel bad about my infertility which is the real reason I'm on the web. If I felt qualified to just talk about Catholic theology, I'd say that but I don't. I'm not here for that. I said this way back in 2010 (a lifetime ago) that some level of Christian compassion should be extended to those around us even if they disagree with us! I hate to reference John 13:34 but it sure seems appropriate to me now. "So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other."
You might say that's a cover, it's a way to not defend the faith, it's "hiding behind the guise of compassion." You might even be so bold to say I shouldn't be a Catholic. So be it. You're not my priest, you're not my confessor, you're not God's spokesperson, you're just an overly opinionated Catholic and a sinner just like me. Let's pray for one another and please play nice in the sandbox.