Friday, August 28, 2009

This Rant Brought to You By the Letter 'O' or Maybe 'C'

I was going to do a death penalty post, and why I still (and will always) totally support it, but it's all my frothing at the mouth and handing out examples of why I'm 'death penalty YAY!'. Which I doubt anyone really wants to read.

And then I watched Anna's latest post over at Veiled Glory. And...well. She said something about their decision to convert to Orthodoxy 'not being a head trip', and...Okay, this is like, confession time:

I like to be right. *All* the time. I know it's arrogant, I know it's bad, and that no one is right all the time, and I've gotten *much* better about not being an arrogant know it all, because I know that I don't know it all, and well, no one likes a know it all, right? But still, I like to be right. I like to be able to stand at a defensible position and hand out my ingenious arguments, and go, 'See! This is why you're wrong and *stupid* (which is, of course, implied but never stated), and I and everyone who agrees with me is right.' :p *mental raspberries are blown at the 'wrong' party. And to be perfectly honest (however arrogant it might sound), I am quite often right. It's just the way the world works (the world, you see, revolves around me).

Right. So. Go back a couple of years. My mother remarries a Mennonite man, and his parents live with us in the house. His mother is a little...odd...and she doesn't like me. She thinks 'there's something wrong with her'. Seriously. And to be honest, I was practicing magic at the time, so there was probably a few things 'off' about me, but whatever. Plus, I'm coming from an abusive house, and, and, whatever. I admit to having issues. And I am forced, for the first time in *years* to attend church. Their Mennonite church. Which just...annoys the crap out of me. Because the pastor there is quite often *wrong* (but a very, very nice man), especially when he talks about things outside of Christianity. So. Must. Get. Out. Of. This. Church. Thing. Before I start actually jumping up and *correcting* the pastor, which I know is not right to do. to do this...ah! My brilliance! Crazy Gramma and Grandpa are ex-Catholics, of the 'the Catholic Church is EVOL' sort. Heh. So...'I want to go to the Catholic Church'. And, no one bugs me about religion or church in the house again. *Feel* my clever. Feel it. Of course, because I'm supposed to be attending Mass (but I wasn't, really) I felt I needed to be able to speak like I was, so I studied. And, along the way, believed. But that's been told elsewhere, so. (I just left out the part about choosing the Catholic Church at first to piss off the crazy old woman - it didn't seem very nice, you know?)

The deacon, when I was having my interview before RCIA asked me why I wanted to be Catholic. My answer was, essentially, 'because I want to be a part of the *original* church, the oldest faith around, because that's the one that's lasted. that's the one that's true.' to which he, jokingly, responded, 'why not be Jewish then?' to which I responded, (perhaps a tad more seriously than he realized at the time) 'because I like bacon'. ha ha. Anyway.

But now I wonder, is this just another way that I need to be right? Is it? Am I doing this wrong?
Do I want to be in the original church because then I'll be right, or because I want to do what God wants me to do? I DON'T KNOW!

I *believe* that I need to belong to the original Church, the one that Christ founded and left behind. I *believe* that it is either the Catholic Church or the Orthodox Church. Why? Because they have the history. They make the most sense. Of course, they don't agree with each other on many things, but that's another post. Protestantism is a fractured morass as far as I'm concerned. There's no historicity, no *foundation*. They've cut themselves off at the knees in so many ways, and it shows. (For a personal pet peeve, where *do* you guys think you got the Bible? Really? You remember, that book that tells you you're right and that the Church is wrong? Oh, yeah, that would *be* the freaking *Church*!) Don't like the theology taught at your church? That's okay, go start your own! The Holy Spirit will tell you what to do!

*shrug* I decided on Catholicism because it was the oldest, and made the most sense. But now... I don't know. And I'm reading, and studying, and in some ways I look at Orthodoxy and go, 'Yes! I don't have to bend through theological hoops! I don't need to quantify and scientifically explain everything so that it makes sense! I don't need to freaking *justify* my faith to science, because some things are *beyond* science, and theology and science don't have to fight, they're two different spheres!' and I see *more* historicity to it - I see a unity of belief, as opposed to an empire (I'm not knocking the Pope, I happen to like Benedict XVI), I see something that more closely resembles what I understand of the church at the time of the Apostles and the Early Fathers. I see something that even my deacon admitted 'kept to the original way of things' when the Catholic church changed with the times. But it's all *head* right now, no *heart*. And now I'm afraid that it's need to be *right*. And I might *feel* something about it if I went to an Orthodox service, but my *extreme social awkward* won't let me, and the only Orthodox Church in town is Serbian, and I'm terrified that I'll go there, and they'll all *look* at me and talk about me behind my back. And I'll be embarrassed and humiliated and...

*throws up hands*


  1. Well, drive on out to Louisville and you can come with me! And I'll even give a you tour of the icons afterwards, and introduce you to the likes of St. Xenia of Petersburg (she's wild!), and St. Herman of Alaska (very gentle and sweet saint, that Herman).

    I'd be scared to go to a Serbian Church, too. But then again, you never know...they might just be the nicest people ever.

  2. Like Alana said, its a mixed bag sometimes with the Serbs or Greeks (no offense, they'd understand). You know Amber it took me 5 years to get to this point so don't feel like you have to be there NOW in the Protestant rush-rush way. Its good that you are recognizing your penchant for right-ness. This is a step in the right direction. ;-)

    I wish there were some sort of internet social Ning -thing to connect seekers with nice parishioners in their area. Would overcome the "scariness" factor for many in visiting the OC. Ok, did I just volunteer?

  3. Not having to do with this blog post per se, but I thought you might like this podcast series, discussing the issue of Capital Punishment from an Orthodox Perspective (the guy giving the talks is pro-capital punishment, by the way).


  4. Did you know that the Catholic Church and Orthodox Church are actually not split from each other? That they both trace their bishops from the same lineage? That, if there is not one church available, you can take communion at the other?

    Seriously, the reason for the Catholic/Orthodox argument is so miniscule ~ and it came about from mortal men attempting to put the Faith, and God, into mere human terms. (So then they fought and scuffled and walked away from each other in a huff and it's been history ever since...)

  5. *hugs back* Thanks Heather. :)

  6. Alana,

    *grins* Thanks, maybe someday I'll be in the area and look you up. :) (I'd totally ask way ahead, of course, don't fear some crazy random internet person showing up on your doorstep.)

    I'm sure the people at the church are perfectly nice, really. I have no, real, reason to think otherwise. My fear of them is mine - I really am extremely socially awkward outside of my comfort zone. I'm convinced, in my head, that I'm doing *something* wrong, no matter what I'm doing, and embarrassing myself. Somehow. *sigh* I swear, one day, I will get over this.

    Oooh...thanks for the link. I shall have to download it and make it next on my treadmill playlist.

  7. Anna,

    Thanks, I really do think this is just a moment of crazy that's been building. I know that I sort of jumped into Catholicism, without doing as much 'homework' as I should have, in retrospect. And while I don't regret it, I know that that's a part of my problem. Plus, you know, my driving urge to be *right* all the time. :) I'm determined to not do it again, to really *know*, but I'm not always the worlds most patient person, and sometimes I just...get frantic? Crap, this makes me sound like a loon. *sigh*

    Hah. You totally did just volunteer to start the network.

  8. Michelle,

    I don't think that's actually the majority opinion. From what I've read and heard, both sides say that you cannot take communion at the other church without special permission.

    The split may have started small, but it's grown quite large, over the centuries. There's a lot that'd have to change before (I think) a true reconcilliation could happen.

  9. Of course you need permission! But the point is, communion is still valid in *both* churches. Whereas it is not valid in any other church. That says a lot, regardless of those that hold on for dear life to the old, silly arguments.

  10. *sigh* Sometimes, I'm a nugget and I read too fast and miss the point. :) Which, of course, was valid apostolic succession. And you're right, of course.

    Sorry for the confusion.

  11. I find all this stuff so interesting, but I really know nothing about it! You made me look up the Orthodox church but even if I've had the page open since this morning I haven't been able to concentrate enough to learn much! Too much work at work, darn them.

  12. LOL @ your reason for not being a Jew! :-D

    Enjoyed the rant.

  13. Candice,

    The Orthodox Church is very interesting, and if you get a chance, I'd recommend reading up on it.

    Also, yes, too much work at work. How dare they! ;)

  14. Susanne,

    It's a totally valid reason! I happen to like bacon, and I'm not sure I could keep Kosher! :)


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