Watching a Catholic mass is interesting. The fact that Ted Kennedy died makes me very, genuinely sad: he was a man who did a lot of good and I will miss him.
And yet I am so NOT Catholic. I should say, at the outset, that I don’t have any kind of problem with Catholicism (except their views on women and gays, OK, those I have some serious problems with–but I understand and recognize that certainly not all Catholics fit that profile). But I find the entire religion confusing.
Recently I was listening to the terrific monologue by Julia Sweeney called Letting Go of God, in which she talks about Mormon missionaries coming to her house and telling her the story of Mormonism (listen to it, really). At first she thinks the whole thing is damn insane. Then she starts thinking about the stories that Catholics tell, and wonders what someone who had never heard the Catholic origin story would think upon hearing it. She goes on to talk about Karen Armstrong’s book The History of God and how Armstrong talks about things in the Bible being “psychologically true.” This leads Julia to wonder why, for example, Greek myths do not have the same resonance in our culture. They are just as psychologically true.
I have lots more to say about Julia’s monologue, especially where she talks about Jesus being–how shall I put this–kind of an asshole sometimes. And God! Like me, she finds the story of Abraham being asked to sacrifice his son appalling. This is the story in the bible that bothers me the most. Julia has good things to say about it. Please go listen to her.
In the mean time, I will continue thinking about my own religious beliefs. I have had an incredible fear of death for as long as I can remember and so I have trouble thinking about it quite often. But I suppose I believe in something bigger, most days. I just don’t know what that something is. (I’m a UU. I’m allowed to not know. I get to engage in a free and responsible search for truth and meaning. Just saying.)
I think I have a lot more to say about this.
(yay decent quality health care being prayed for at Teddy’s service! Ha, Republicans, good luck NOT passing health care. And…oh my Lord I might tear up. And prayers for alliances between gay and straight folks…love.)
ETA to say that I do not believe in the same God that Catholics do, but I found myself saying the Lord’s Prayer along with everyone else.
Even though I don’t say “under God” when I recite the Pledge.
ETA 2: Ted Kennedy’s son is giving me goosebumps. and making me choke up.
ETA 3: TK2 “He even taught me some of the harder lessons of life, like how to like Republicans.” Ah, Teddy…I haven’t really learned that one yet.
ETA4: just going to jot down what I think while Obama talks. Because I love him.
and what better man to eulogize Teddy? “A champion for those who had none.”
God, Obama is a good speaker.
They called Teddy the Big Cheese? really? ha.
They tossed him off a boat? That’s pretty funny.
The Kennedy family is fascinating to watch. I’m not a fan, generally, of old wealthy families. I find them alluring in a creepy way.
But the Kennedys…I don’t feel that way about them.
Love the pictures they are showing. Hi Hillary! I love you. You are doing a great job as SoS.
yay reference to gay soldiers!
Seriously, was there ANY important progressive legislation that Teddy Kennedy didn’t have a hand in?
“veritable force of nature” i like that.
love the photo of TK and Biden. Biden makes me laugh.
thats right. “greatest legislator of our time.” Go, O.
These are some excellent stories. Love the cigars.
“luck of the Irish.” love.
And Bo! We need more Bo.
“we cannot know for certain how long we have here…what we can do is to…live our lives with purpose and joy.”
That’s pretty much my philosophy, O.
What a legacy to leave behind. All we can hope, really, is that we can all leave behind an equally important–if not so public–a legacy.
Rest in peace, Teddy.