I got tired of posting long, rant-length statuses on Facebook about things that matter to me. I wanted a medium to catalog my thoughts without the feel of a Walmart soapbox.
I was born and raised Roman Catholic, and homeschooled K-12. I'm sure that immediately affords you a plethora of stereotypes, and that may be all some need to hear to pass over this blog, which is fine by me; I'm not looking to attract some huge online following. But I'm not ashamed of my upbringing, and if you do choose to read what I have to say, hopefully you be pleasantly surprised, and perhaps rethink some of your stereotypes.
I neither swallowed my Catholic Faith whole without question, nor have I ever fully abandoned it. I grew and learned and questioned and worked out, and my acceptance of and passion for my beliefs stem from a conscious, reasoned, adult decision to do so. And that is all I will say about that. You can believe me, or not.
The older I get, the more of my innocence is lost; e.g., the more I see the way the world is going. No, I'm not some Bible-thumping predictor of imminent apocalypse calling for you to mend your ways, but I am trying to blend my articulate expression of logic and truth into the larger voice of the Logic and Truth. I think it's important to try and draw some attention to the flaws in the reasoning of so many out there, who accept what is fed them by, oh, all kinds of rotten sources, without question. Kids are no longer taught to think in school anymore, and are simultaneously brainwashed from preschool onward to accept all kinds of permissive, harmful behavior as 'normative'.
I feel like, as a Catholic, a woman, an educated college-graduate/graduate student, and someone who was, thankfully, taught how to think critically, the least I can do is to voice my opinions. Not just as Facebook rants, but as well-reasoned, charitable, logical explications of why I believe what I do about issue X, and why I hope to persuade you to, too.
So, let me establish some background and explain the title of this blog:
1. I'm Catholic. I'm a practicing Catholic. I accept all the moral and religious truths promulgated by the Catholic Church and the Pope. I don't accept abortion under any circumstances, nor contraception, nor homosexual or heterosexual pre/extra-marital sexual activity. I'm for a limited, Catholic understanding of the death penalty. A kind of summary of my beliefs might be to say that I am passionate about the human dignity of every individual, from conception to natural death, regardless of, and perhaps even transcendent of, the trendy concerns of gender, race, economic status, 'orientation', politics, etc--but I am obliged also to 'admonish the sinner', or, to quote a popular trope, to 'love the sinner but hate the sin'. None of this namby-pamby relativistic 'it's OK for you as long as it doesn't involve me' crap, but first and foremost I do strive for charity. If anyone reads this and thinks I'm being uncharitable, or am characterizing Catholics poorly, please call me on it. At the very least, I'd love to have the opportunity to civilly defend myself, or admit a mistake if I'm wrong.
2. I'm a woman. I believe in the dignity and unique value that women have intrinsically. I see the embracing of femininity, womanhood, motherhood, female sexuality, etc, as a beautiful 'yes' to the incredible gifts God gave women in their very nature. I'm not 'saddled' by my gender, by my reproductive organs, or by my difference from men. I'm liberated by it. I thrive on it. I want to be a woman as women were meant to be, and that is an ideal that is constructed in the conjugal union of Faith and Reason known as Catholicism. Does this mean that I believe women should wear ankle-length denim skirts and travel from their father's kitchen to their husbands' kitchen, with little or no education, opinions, or personality? No. It simply means that God fashioned women 'fearfully and wonderfully' as creatures with such a capacity for life and love that we alone have the ability to bear children, and that I think we are selling ourselves short if we try to deny our nature or our talents.
3. I was raised in a politically conservative household, and I generally continue to hold those politics, but I'm not your Republican-party-worshiping evangelical Christian type voter. Again, I respect logic and charity, so I generally weigh my political opinions in, again, the light of Faith and Reason. That said, I think politics are generally a waste of time, especially now, when any semblance of democracy, justice, and morality in American government is a farce. But it's equally a waste of time and effort to be uninformed. Be aware of what is going on politically, and expose it where it needs to be exposed, especially as it increasingly threatens things like my right to worship my God.
4. This Light of Faith and Reason stuff, I've said it like 4 times already. Yup. That's correct. Faith and Reason together, like man and woman, like science and religion, like faith and works, like peanut butter and chocolate--they are meant to compliment one another and form a complete unit. You can't have one without the other, not really, and when you have both, you generally have balance and truth. Mind you, 'balance' is a loaded term, but I mean it as 'the fruitful, logical product of two complimentary goods'.
5. What's with the cat? Virginia Woolf said "Let a man get up and say, Behold, this is the truth, and instantly I perceive a sandy cat filching a piece of fish in the background. Look, you have forgotten the cat, I say." I feel that nowadays, noticing the cat is all I do. There are so many wrongs paraded as 'rights' (pun intended), so many lies masquerading as truth, and so many people accepting misinformation like logic that I want to stand up and draw attention to the cat.
6. Finally, as a TL;DR of my principles and aims for this blog (and for my life), let me quote the great Fulton Sheen: "Live as you believe, or you'll find that you believe as you live." America believes as it lives, and we are in crisis. I want to live as I believe, and believe that I might live.