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The Pagan Science Geek?! Really?!

I went out to lunch with one of my best friends today and we had a good time. I'm Catholic, she's atheist...and she's one of my best friends. Besides our beliefs, her genius computer skills, and her height (and my lack thereof), we have a lot in common. We're both teachers. We're both students. We both appreciate the humor of even the worst situations. We both worked our bums off through college, we both helped each other move, we both have interesting family stories, and we're both incredibly reasonable people. And, even though our lives keep us so busy we barely get a chance to see each other, we both live in the same apartment complex.

Contrary to popular belief, we prove that our people can get along just fine... and can carry a decent conversation without my condemning her to hell and without her throwing anti-religion quotes in my face. I truly appreciate this, because I ended up having some pretty great conversations with her over the 6 odd years that I've known her. Yes, we've talked religion, atheism, and just about every other controversial topic (including Mac vs. PC) without receiving death threats or hate mail from each other. Truth be told, I can't remember ever flipping out on her or vice versa. In short, I'm the Catholic Tolkien to her atheist C.S.Lewis....and it works out (especially if it means I get to be Tolkien...my favorite author ever).

On a side note:
In case you're wondering about the change in blog design template, I changed it because my friend helped me confirm my own suspicions that purple text on purple background was a bad idea. Therefore, I swallowed my pride and went with one of the "standard" design templates with all the colors and such picked out for me. Everything should be easier to read now...My apologies for the hideous purple. I would try to excuse myself by saying that I had added the purple theme in the spirit of Lent...but then I would be lying.

At one point we started talking several levels of atheism (please refer to previous post for my breakdown). In case you're wondering, she's one of the reasonable atheists. In fact, she's one of the most reasonable people I know and has given me a lot of great advice in the time that I've known her. I bring up a fence analogy about how we're both on two sides of a fence. The fence is reason and regardless of what side you are on, you can be closer or farther away from reason. She tells me about how she loves Christmas trees even though some atheists are vehemently against such blatant displays of-well, you get the idea. We talked about our feelings about hiding religious and even not-so-religious symbols/ornaments. For the record, I am against the hiding of any religious/etc. signs. I would rather have my child in a classroom where they are comfortable enough to talk about Ramadan, Passover, Lent, and even atheism than a classroom where every form of religious expression is forced into a closed box. I feel you best teach tolerance through exposure rather than mandating that all things different be hidden.

My friend and I agreed that the first classroom would promote tolerance a lot better than the second classroom...regardless of what some of these atheist pressure groups try to say. However, my friend also brought up a good point about there being two sides to the extremist problem. She's completely right. The religious side, as you are all aware, is full of just as many nuts as there are "militant atheist fools." You got people who would easily oppose having their child in a classroom where a Muslim child can talk about their own beliefs because they're "anti-Christian" or even have the Catholics children wearing Saint Christopher medals because they're too "pagan." Needless to say, it was a very great, intelligent, and extremely respectful conversation....and I thoroughly enjoyed having lunch with my friend.

As far as the title of this post goes, I can't even tell you how many times I've had someone come up to me and tell me that, for whatever reason, Catholics aren't Christians and that we're on a one-way popemobile ride to hell. Of course, I always respond by asking them why Catholics aren't Christian. Here are my top answers.

1. You guys worship Mary....you pagans you!
You'd think they'd know by now that we worship God alone and respect Mary as an example of what it means to be a true and faithful servant of God. If any of these "crazy Christians" is truly more worthy of my respect than Mary is ....then you may as well throw me into the middle of a forest with a wizard's staff and call me a pagan.

Yep, this wizard I drew has Catholic written all over him....

Crazy Christian- (noun) person who claims to follow Christ...but picks and choses how they do so. This person will pull out bible to justify their own selfish wants,  hatred they have towards enter religion/ethnicity/etc individual here, as well as any crazy idea that pops into their head.  These individuals pretty much will ignore Christ's commandment to "Love one another" and can often be seen picketing at the funerals of our country's fallen heroes. Individuals claim to speak on God's behalf, but are probably in much need of a good, old-fashioned exorcism...Rituale Romanum-style...as only a Catholic priest can perform.

2. You guys worship statues...*pulls out a bible to reference golden calf in Exodus*
You'd think they'd know by now that we wrote the bible they just referenced...with the help of our Hebrew friends from back in the ante Christum days. Also, we pray "THROUGH" saints not "TO" saints. When we pray through a saint, it's kind of like asking your friend to put in a good word for you at Starbucks if you're an aspiring barista and she's already got a job there. If you don't believe us, don't bother asking your friends to pray for you....I mean, if Catholics asking saints for prayers makes us pagan, then asking your friends for prayers also makes you a pagan. Also, don't bother praying for your friends when they're in trouble in this life or the next because that would be so...pagan.

3. Candles, wreathes, and all forms of other pagan decorations.
Would flower arrangements in a glass vase make your house a pagan house? Would pink flamingos on your lawn make your lawn a pagan lawn? Would sweet rims on your car make it pagan. Does frosting on a cake makes it pagan?  Well, then I suppose you should avoid pagan things like "arts and crafts" time at the community center, planting flowers in your garden, and dressing up for special events....because any form of decorations/art/etc. are pagan. Oh, and don't bother lighting candles the next time the lights go out, because that too is a slippery slope to full-blown paganism.

4. You guys have a Pope...who insert offensive series of rants here


"And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

 I guess you didn't get this memo...and if you did...well, I strongly discourage you from filing your complaint against Christ and the methods he used when it came to founding his Church.

I know I'm preaching to the choir here...but Catholics ARE Christians. If any Christians say otherwise, feel free to pray for them because they may not be allowed to pray for themselves.

Pax Vobiscum

4 comments:

  1. Many good points...and I like your friend, too. Keep posting. Ever read Scott Hahn...a convert who explains our faith in terms anyone can appreciate. N

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  2. I like her too! I will certainly try to keep posting (though I will warn that next week may be a pretty silent one due this killer take-home biochemistry exam I have coming up). I will definitely take a look at Scott Hahn when I get the chance. Thanks!

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  3. Saw the link you left to this post on The Devout Life blog this week and had to check it out.

    Guess I'm a pagan alongside you...

    I remember the first time I encountered someone telling me Catholic were condemned to hell. I had no idea some people who were professed Christians felt that way.

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  4. Yay! A fellow Catholic pagan!

    Thanks for checking me out. In all seriousness, I was pretty shocked to see how some people view Catholics too. However, I find that these people have helped me strengthen my faith over time by forcing me to better learn what my faith is all about.

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