Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Roman Catholic Bishops, Contraception and Hypocrisy


I can keep my mouth shut no longer.  Yea, I know, for those of you that know me, that is a funny statement.  First let me say, I hate offending people and I really don’t like pissing people off, especially friends who’s beliefs are different than mine.  With that being said,  if you don’t like what I am saying, click off.  I mean go back to whatever you were doing before reading this blog.  Skip this one.  Forward it on to people who think like you so that they can pray for my lost soul.  
You all should know by now my religious stance. If not read this Let's Start With Something Heavy and Controversial: Roman Catholicism   and this, Back To The Catholic Guilt and even this  More Catholic Frustrations and Daily Life.  Ok we all caught up?  Good.  The most recent Roman Catholic controversy is over the Health and Human Services mandate that states that employers must provide contraception through their healthcare plans.  The Catholic Bishops went ape shit over this; complaining that it is against their beliefs, and to be forced to pay for contraception would be an infringement on their religious freedom.  They and every other right wing conservative jumped on this bandwagon and cried fowl.  So President Obama presented them with a compromise.  The Catholic organizations that have employees will NOT have to pay for contraception.  The insurance companies will be on the hook for those services and offer them for free.  Done.  Sounds reasonable.  The Bishop’s original argument was that it was unfair to make them pay for services they found morally wrong.  OK so now you don’t have to.  Bill Moyers explains it so eloquently here.  http://billmoyers.com/content/bill-moyers-essay-freedom-of-and-from-religion/  
Apparently this was not good enough according to Archbishop Chaput. Don’t even get me started on their “reasoning” behind not wanting to allow birth control.  They are holding it akin to abortion!  Really, conception begins at erection now?  Really? Here is his whole whinny tirade regarding the president’s accommodation to the Church.  
http://catholicphilly.com/2012/02/archbishop-chaput/current-hhs-mandate-is-not-a-real-compromise/    He is basically saying, you gave us what we asked for but not what we really want.  We don’t want contraception to be available to our employees, period, regardless of their beliefs.  Better yet, we don’t think that ANY employer should have to fund ANY service, drug or procedure that they find morally wrong.  What kind of hypocritical can of worms are they opening up?   

So if my husband’s employer decides he does not think that blood transfusions are morally right, because he is a Jehovah’s Witness, are we going to have to pay for our own blood transfusion out of pocket?  If my employer is a devout Christian Scientist am I going to have to pay for all of my healthcare out of pocket? If an employer is a devout worshiper of the Blue Man Group and they believe that everything is fixed with blue paint, will their employees be made to paint themselves blue instead of getting an antibiotic? Are you friggin kidding me?  What the fuck do these celibate, unmarried, MEN know about what my MEDICAL FEMALE NEEDS are?  
I would have gladly invited the entire HHS mandate panel that testified, (here is a visual. Just so you know, they all have penises) to sit in on the pregnancy and birth of my last baby.  Since they did not let me recap.  

I suffered from placenta previa and was bleeding profusely therefore forced to bed rest. I spent 9 weeks in the hospital on bed rest fighting to keep the lil guy inside my belly.  After 9 weeks and they could not stop the bleeding they had to deliver my son.  Before they could cut open my belly, they had to put a stint in my femoral artery, (with no numbing or anesthesia) to cut off the blood supply to my uterus so that I would not bleed to death while they were delivering the baby.  This process was more excruciating than they had imagined it to be and I had to be held down by 3 nurses (2 of them were male.) After they did the c-section and my baby was taken directly to the NICU, because he was so small and unable to breath, the surgeon was unable to tie my tubes because of the damage that she needed to repair before closing me up.  My uterus and placenta were fused and she had to dissect the placenta which was completely covering the cervix, from my uterine wall then sew me up as fast as she could.  After she was done, she leaned over the curtain that separated my face from my body and with a sweat stained mask and hat she said, and I quote “Do NOT get pregnant again!  If you do, you or your baby will most likely die.”    So if they were sitting in on that part of my life maybe they would understand the importance of birth control in my future.  But I doubt it.  
I am so fired up by all of this. The Bishops and their cronies go to Washington and they are not only spending money (where do you think they stayed when in DC?  Where did they eat? How did they get there?)  and time, but voracious energy and commitment. They are giving to this NON issue more fervor and more gravity than anything I have seen them do in the past.  They call us cafeteria Catholics.  HA! Where was their righteous indignation and fury when their fellow priests were raping children?  Where were they when groups Justice4pakids.org were and still are trying to lengthen the statute of limitations for victims of childhood sexual abuse.  OH that’s right, they were right there ON THE OPPOSING SIDE.  To make sure that victims were NOT given that justice. 

Where are these Bishops when the poor and hungry are being pushed aside by the the ultra wealthy conservatives who think, they are not MY problem. Hell, they are so close to these right wing conservative rich men who would rather take away my right to birth control than lend a hand to a homeless person. Why aren’t the Bishops up in arms over people who have and don’t bother to give?  Oh and Catholic organizations have been providing health care coverage for viagra and vasectomies.  Why aren’t the most Reverend Bishops putting a stop to that?
OH why oh why do I get so fired up about this?  Am I really able to change anything?  I made the stupid mistake of trying to comment on the Archbishop’s Weekly address that I posted above.  I was respectful yet firm.  In the string of comments, these “Christian Catholics” called me “wrong” “hypocritical” “smug” “annoying” “self-exalting” I was accused of “obtusely refusing to accept the teachings of the Church” and my priorities were brought into question.  Why did I bother to go back there and read all those comments?  Why did I bother to try to restate my points?  I guess I just felt the need to be put down and called names.  
But this is my blog now and I get the final word.  Hey Bishop’s, here is my plea, here is my cry, Get your red capped heads out of your asses and start working towards spiritually leading your congregation!  You are not doctors, scientists, or politicians.  You are not the hand of God.  You were called to be HUMBLE servants of Christ.  You say you believe in God, you say that God created us in His image.  So if we are all created in God’s image and we all have God given brains, let us think for ourselves.  Better yet, let the people who study science and medicine use the brains that God gave them to help us.  Use your brains to help us find peace and spread goodwill and love!  Why am I talking to these idiots?  It is fruitless.  So there it is.  I have more, but I am spent. I don’t want to be angry.  
I have a good life.  I have beautiful children, a wonderful husband, a great family and amazing friends. But my parents brought us up to stand up when you see something wrong, and if you can, do something about it. They told us to defend those that are being hurt or oppressed.  It is what they told me that Jesus did.  My teacher, Sr. Carmela Anne IHM in St. Alice told me that Jesus promoted love, tolerance and stood up to hypocrisy.  Even if you don’t believe in God or Jesus, it is a really good way to live.  I just wish there was a Church out there that got it.  

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Facebook Junkie


Facebook..... Ahhh facebook. I dabble in Pintrest which is satisfying to an extent, but facebook is my drug of choice.  I check out what people are doing, saying, thinking, fighting for, fighting against, arguing with.  This is my favorite; reading the facebook fights that people have, usually over religion or politics or Joe Paterno or Whitney Houston.  I relish in watching them fight to a fever pitch only to de-friend each other.  I love seeing the posts about how people have been de-friended.  I am so sure that I have been de-friended, but, honest to God, I really have no idea when it happens!
I have de-friended people, but I am sure it was no big trauma to them, they were usually people who had over 600 friends and did not communicate with me at all. Or, I was friends with them in high school and now they just scare me and I had to stop looking at their posts.  I tend to really like my fb friends.  I know them, have met them in person, or used to know them personally.  Most of them I have come to know better. Some were just casual friends in high school who have become better friends since reconnecting, which makes sense.  I did not make the best choices when I was a teenager, and seeing people for who they really are is something that comes with age.  Being the person you truly are also comes with age.  SO it makes perfect sense to connect with someone more now whom you may have just hung out with at high school parties than some whom you hung out with all the time.  
I love that I have connected with family members.  Cousins and the like who, when we were kids, we used to be together for EVERY holiday, birthday, wedding or funeral.  Then someone stopped talking to someone else, or the families just got too big, or it just became too much effort and it all stopped.  Those connections are special to me.  The other connections are the ones that surprise you.  I became friends with one of my husband’s work buddies and, honest to God, he and his wife are two of the funniest people I have ever met and I look forward to their posts every day.  We have so much in common it is scary.  
I like reading the crazy political posts too.  The crazy right wing politics annoy me just as much as the crazy left wing politics.  If you have seen my other posts, I think you can tell where I stand.  I know many would consider me a liberal, but I have to say that the conspiracy theories on both sides are ri-god-damn-diculous.  I love hearing people go off on one side or the other and then calling my friends and saying “hey did you see, so-and-so, completely blow their top on so-and-so?”  I can’t consider it gossip, if they are putting it all out there like that, right?   
The thing that is the most difficult is I gotta get off this goddamn facebook!  It is great for somethings but it can become a bit much.  I tend to have an OCD personality with certain things and facebook and OCD go together like PB&J.  As a matter of fact the internet itself is an OCDer’s wet dream.  Any and all information that you need on any given subject is at your fingertips.  I have searched for the best prices for everything from plane tickets to vacation rentals to dishwasher detergent.  (See, I like to use Seventh Generation dishwasher detergent, because not only is it environmentally friendly but it makes my dishes cleaner than anything I have ever used.  It is not cheap so I tend to buy it in bulk so I can get it cheaper)  I have also research every childhood milestone, illness and learning technique there is so that I am always prepared.  See what I mean?  I will obsess about something and exhaust myself until I find the answer.  Another drug preference, if you will! 
When you are home all the time like me, facebook can become the only form of social outlet.  Which is very sad and kind of embarrassing.  But hey, it is easier to turn on the lap-top, scratch your ass in your pajamas at 11:17pm and catch up with people, than to get out the door with 2 kids, a dog and a husband and gather with people you may or may not want to deal with.  I mean with facebook you don’t HAVE to.  You can just catch up with the ones you WANT to.  They may be there catching up with you at the same time you or they may not feel like dealing with you right now and they will get back to you when they do!  It is kind of a beautiful thing.  The people I talk to on the phone or in person on a regular basis are my good friends who will be in my life with or without facebook.  (One of them actually is not on facebook at all. I know crazy, right?)  
I do have some facebook crushes.  Not in the romantic sense!  Don’t go crazy here.  I mean, I am straight and my facebook crushes are mostly women.  I mean “crushes” in the vein of facebook friends whom I would love to get closer to, to the point of phone calls or physical get-togethers.  But I don’t want to be a crazy stalker.  If it happens great, if not so be it.  I guess my overall take on facebook is, like anything, it can be used for good or evil. Take everything in moderation.  I know that if I am not communicating with my family because I have to check facebook, that is a real problem.  But if I use it as a social outlet after the hubs and the kids are asleep, why not enjoy? No harm, no foul,  I mean it’s not like I am blogging all the time!  

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

THE SIMPLE JOYS OF MY BOYS



  • sticky syrup kisses
  • belly laughs at the Marx Brothers/Three Stooges/Abbott and Costello
  • pure excitement when daddy walks in the door
  • pure joy over spending time with Nana and PopPop
  • when one makes the other laugh
  • when one comforts the other
  • when they team up to be mischievous
  • watching their concentration when painting/drawing/coloring
  • seeing their pride in their creations
  • bed head
  • energy filled runs in no direction whatsoever
  • long talks about their day/interest/fears/concerns
  • being able to comfort them with a hug or snuggles
  • watching them care for/play with the dog/cat
  • watching their shared fascination with trains
  • sticky peanut butter and jelly kisses
  • seeing the little one mimic the bigger one who mimics his father
  • seeing old pictures of myself/my husband/family members, that look like them
  • watching the affinity they have for certain stuffed animals/toys
  • Belly laughs
  • secretly watching them play act or pretend play
  • watching their excitement when they play with their friends
  • seeing them drift off to sleep
  • putting them to bed after a long day 
  • seeing how content they are to be home after a vacation
  • hearing them use new words that I did not even think they knew
  • hearing the words they make up
  • seeing their passion and investment in Philadelphia sports teams 
  • pushing them on a swing
  • sliding with them down a slide
  • going on an amusement ride with them
  • milk mustache kisses
  • when I make them laugh
  • seeing their joy when they make me laugh
  • seeing their joy when it snows
  • seeing their joy when they see the ocean
  • seeing their joy when they see a bird/airplane/stars/moon/kite
  • their excitement over playing with a balloon
  • watching them interact with friends 
  • their wonder
  • their faces on Christmas morning
  • their faces when blowing out birthday candles
  • hearing them say a prayer
  • seeing them have concern for others
  • clean smelling, after bath kisses
  • unexpected hugs
  • when they hold my hand (and I don’t tell them to)
There are many things they do on a regular basis that make me smile, laugh, cry, think and wonder “How did I get so lucky to have these little blessings in my life?”  Please feel free to comment and add your own. I would love to hear them

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Almost 40 and I don't give a shit.


As I enter my 40th year of life there are some things that I have come to realize.  First, I don’t give a shit.  And I mean that in the best possible way.  There are so many things that used to bother me that I really could not care less about now.  It has become very freeing.  I really don’t care about what others think of me.  I mean I never want to hurt anyone and I would very much take into consideration if you have a personal gripe or concern. I am open to changing my ways for the greater good.  However, I can’t be hurt by other’s opinions of me.  They are entitled to it and I respect that.  And hey, they may be right!  It is not my call.  But at the end of the day I can put my head on the pillow and fall right to sleep. 
Often times other’s criticisms are more a reflection of them than of who they are judging.  Judging is another thing I can’t be bothered with anymore. Don’t get me wrong, there are times I still find myself judging another. But I am learning that you really don’t know where another person has been in their lives or how they got to the point of being that bat-shit-crazy person standing in front of you. To people that are mean, nasty or disrespectful, I am learning to walk away from with a “Good luck and God Bless.”  I can not let that into my life.  This is an easy process if I don’t know you that well, but when it is someone who I know well or am related to, it takes a special kind of strength that I am still working on.  As far as the “I don’t give a shit” statement made in the first paragraph, this is where I have to learn how to do that with people in my inner sanctum!    
I do believe that I have stopped worrying about things that are out of my control.  I can not control the way others feel.  Period.  I can not control the way others act. Period.   The only control I have is how I react to situations, people and events.  I have the power to respond in a negative way or a positive way.  There are still many times that I do not react the best way possible but I am working on it. I have to start working in my own best interest.  Not in a selfish or greedy way, but in a healthy boundaries sort of way.  When I don’t want to do something that everyone and their mother seems to be telling me to do.  I don’t have to.  If they then want to throw in an “I told ya so,”  so be it.  It is no skin of my back that they have obsessed over MY decision until the outcome arrives.  As a matter of fact, that makes them kinda crazy, not me.  
The constants in my life, my family and very close friends are my hub and my joy. When I allow people into that space I do not take it lightly.  People that are close to me are my ‘safe zone’, that I do not extend to everyone.  In a general sense I like people, and I feel compelled to listen to their stories and share some of mine (obviously!) Sometimes the person and I just “click.” Other times there is no connection, but I no longer feel the obligation to find a connection. I usually walk away from them with a better sense of who I am or what I want in my life.  And that can not be bad thing. There are others who are just plain coo-coo-ka-choo and I will write an entire blog about them later!  
I have learned that being nice to people is really easy and it does not mean sacrificing who I am or what I want. My doing something for someone does not have to directly affect a return to me.  I am learning to do things for others because I WANT to, not because I expect praise, recognition, love or appreciation in return.  When I do things for others with this in mind it is more fulfilling and freeing than I ever imagined.  Because once you have given to another, it is done.  You feel good and you can move on.  You don’t have to wait for the return or even the reaction.  If you do for others with your best intentions and they don’t appreciate it, that is fine.  They don’t HAVE to appreciate it, because you did it out of love and nothing else.   
I guess what I am getting at is those old cliches of “life is too short,”  “carpe diem,” “live life to it’s fullest,” etc. etc.  No one really knows when things will change or end or become different.  I was in a horrible car accident in 2006. My injuries were extensive and life altering. I had initially had a lot of sadness, anger and frustration mostly because my son, who was only 2 at the time, was deprived of his mother as he knew her for at least 6 months.   My husband was also deprived of his wife and had to assist me in everything from getting me in and out of bed to shaving my legs to wiping my ass, literally.  I just wanted my life, as I knew it, back.  I was going along happy with my life and in an instant it was all taken away from me.  I wanted to blame something, someone. I no longer feel that way and am extremely thankful.  Now I can focus on what the accident taught me.  It can all be taken away.  Yes, It can all be taken away too quickly and without warning.  There is no room for drama when you look at it like that.  
I am trying to learn that have to make my own happiness and it is not dictated to me.  Kindness matters and the more you give the more you will get.  Maybe not directly or immediately but it will come.  So these are some of the things I have learned in my 39 years and 6 months on this earth.  Now if I could just figure out how to maintain my laundry.....