Friday, December 30, 2011

What I Gave for Christmas

I do not know if a study has ever been done, or if it is even possible to conduct such a one, but I truly wish that we could have a poll to determine the most common Christmas phrase, counting all the way through to the twelfth day. I would be willing to bet, from my own personal experience, that it is not “Merry Christmas,” or even all of its equivalents combined. No, I think the most frequently heard greeting during the Christmas season is, “What did you get?”

Whenever I meet my cousins at Christmas day lunch, their first question is inevitably, “What did you get from Santa?” To which I respond with all the cool things I received, listing the best first with a proper flourish, before returning the inquiry. Whenever I meet my friends in the eleven days following, at some point in the beginning of the conversation, they are bound to ask, “Hey, Tally! What did you get for Christmas?” Then we compare gifts, swap them temporarily, and each admire what the other got. I have heard this question monotonously spouted from some of the staunchest Keep Christ-in-Christmassers, and one year I began to think. Why is everyone so focused on what they received? One is not supposed to be preoccupied with what they got. And though perhaps the question is only asked to share in the newfound delights of your loved ones, why shift their focus to what they got for Christmas?

I propose a new and lesser heard Christmas phrase. “What did you give for Christmas?”

I have posed this inquiry several times with varying and interesting responses. The best are from little children who worked hard to make Mommy’s painting and are as proud to tell you of it as if they had received a million dollars and an Xbox Live. I love to watch their ecstatic expressions as they innocently tell of their selfless accomplishments. Of course, there is the risk of developing pride. This, however, is easily remedied. Just ask the question to someone who gave something really big for Christmas—like Christ. Your puny sweater will collapse beneath the weight of their response and your pride with it.

I think the perfect Christmas conversation should begin with an acknowledgement of the season (“Merry Christmas!”) then gratitude for what we received (“What did you get?”) and then a return to the true purpose of Christmas—giving (“What did you give?”). Maybe someday I’ll meet someone who, along with the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, responds that they gave Christ for Christmas. Maybe someday I’ll be able to respond that I gave Christ for Christmas. At any rate, next year, I hope to make my conversation run something along those lines, and not along this year’s:

“Hey, Tally, what did you get for Christmas?”
“I’m more concerned with what I gave, Jake.”
“Okay…so what did you give for Christmas?”
“I don’t know. That’s why I’m concerned.”

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Homophobes and Homomaniacs

So, that last post was terribly written, but I don’t feel like redeeming myself at the moment. I am moderately ADD and I just saw a squirrel, so here goes nothing…

A homophobe is someone who hates homosexuals. Perhaps, since “phobia” means fear, it is not really the correct terminology; but I didn’t make it up, so “homophobia” it is. Homophobes are those crazy people who picket the funerals of soldiers, claim that all lesbians are going to hell, that God hates gays (as if God hates anyone!), and the like. For some reason, when they look at gays and lesbians, they do not see people. They do not see beloved sons and daughters of God, sons and daughters of humans, or Star Wars fans, or people who like cats. All they see is an orientation and they judge based solely on that orientation.

A homomaniac is someone who is obsessed with homosexuals. As a “mania” is an excessive and unreasonable enthusiasm, I think the word is particularly fitting. (I found out I didn’t coin it. Alas. My genius is cliché. Oh, well.) A homomaniac looks at a homosexual and sees a homosexual. This is why they pump their children up with hormonal suppressants and claim they wanted it since they were three. This is why, when anyone ventures the opinion that homosexual acts are wrong, the maniacs immediately retort that you are a homophobe. They cannot see the difference between a person and an orientation, homosexuals and homosexuality, and so they think that if you don’t accept the act you cannot possibly accept the person. Like the homophobes, they reduce gays and lesbians to their orientation.

I feel very sorry for gays and lesbians, who are often caught between these two equally degrading groups. I would like to offer them a way out: The Catholic Church.

I have gotten a great many disbelieving stares and emphatic “What?!?”s at this statement. I can only quote this article when I am presented with objections.

“It is often assumed that because Latin American countries are Catholic, “machistic,”and frequently ruled by military dictatorship that they are also very repressive of homosexuals. While there is disapproval in Latin American countries of homosexual activities, a live-and-let-live attitude is nevertheless wide spread. Catholicism, despite its longstanding strictures against homosexuality, for complex social and political reasons, does not automatically translate its moral norms into repression of homosexuals. On the whole, there is greater tolerance of homosexuals in the Catholic countries of Latin America than in the Protestant countries of the English-speaking world.” (p. 322)

Now, Whitman and Zent do not know much about the Catholic Church if they think it is merely social and political reasons that stay the hand of the Church and prevent violence. But they have stumbled upon a truth: that the Church does not condemn homosexuals. In her everlasting advice of “love the sin, hate the sinner,” she merely condemns homosexual acts. While the Westboro Baptist Church has their website GodHatesFags, the Catholic Church invites you to be Courageous!

In a society who has fallen right into Screwtape’s trap, the Catholic Church alone is the one who has avoided all extremisms except extreme devotion to God. While the Westboro Baptist Church criticizes Catholics for not despising homosexuals and condemning only their actions, the LGTB society bashes her for not approving of homosexual acts. The Catholic Church is median, even and especially in the subject of homosexuality. The Catholic Church is neither lax nor strict; she is the perfect parent, loving and yet not afraid to discipline her children for their sake. Gays and lesbians, tired of being defined by and reduced to what they feel, are slowly finding refuge in her loving and understanding arms. If you know someone who is experiencing same sex attraction, or are experiencing it yourself, I invite you to visit Don’t buy into the skewed extremist agendas of the homophobes and the homomaniacs. Homosexuals are people like everyone else, with feelings and faults.

Jesus did not approve of our sin.

He did not condemn us.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Seven Proofs that Women are Women

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