The Watering Hole, Saturday, September 14, 2013: The Myth of the 21st Century Catholic

This past Sunday, Raylan Alleman of Fix the Family, wrote a column entitled 6 Reasons (+2) to NOT Send Your Daughter to College. The Editor’s note explaining the title tells you all you need to know about why I’m proud of my secular public education: Editor’s note: The original post was “6 reasons” and 2 were added since (#6 and #8) just in case 6 weren’t enough. [I did not edit that in any way.] The entire post is supposed to be a rational argument for why women should not go to college. It is anything but.

Before I begin telling you about their 6 (+2) reasons and what’s wrong with them, who are Raylan Alleman and Fix the Family? According to their website, they’re Catholics, and they think you can be happily married and Catholic, too. They believe that there is a serious problem in that the Catholic moral teaching on marriage and family, as rock-solid and beautiful as it is, has not reached the faithful. [Here’s a suggestion: Have a meeting each week in each local community, proctored by someone intimately familiar with the Church’s teachings, where Catholics can attend and learn these things. I bet you never of thought of that before, did you?] When we began looking for material to share with those around us, we found that it was either too academic and complicated or non-existent. You mean it was too hard to understand, if it existed at all? In short, there is almost no common man’s material on the true teachings of the Catholic Church on marriage and family. Hmm, not even the Bible? I thought the Bible had all the answers to Life’s questions.

So why does this guy (or these two guys) believe your daughter should not go to college? Well, they believe your reasons for why they might want this are wrong, according to them. They say it’s not true that they don’t believe in educating women, or that they believe in oppressing women or in taking away opportunities for women and trapping them into a subservient role. They just believe that your daughter “will not learn to be a wife and mother” in college. I’m not an expert in either Psychology or Theology, but I’m guessing it takes a great deal of cognitive dissonance to be a good practicing American Catholic. They also worry that your daughter will be “in a near occasion of sin” because, you know, hormones. Again they use cognitive dissonance when they say, “How can one expect that anyone would be able to avoid these temptations, even on a Catholic college campus much less a secular one?” So, are they saying that despite it being a “Catholic college campus” there are students having sex outside of marriage? If living the Catholic lifestyle is such a great choice, why is there any sex going on between unmarried Catholic college students? Then there’s the cost of education going up all the time. (Apparently because it’s subsidized by the government. We can save a discussion of other things that are subsidized by the government – to save money for you and me – for later.) What’s funny (i.e., another example of cognitive dissonance) is their rationale for this position. “It makes much more sense for a young couple to have a husband with a skill that brings value to the marketplace that has reasonable compensation to go along with it and a wife who is willing to be frugal especially during the early years of starting their family.” But the most imaginative argument for why you shouldn’t send your daughter to college is that it could be an occasion of sin for the parents! Full disclosure, I have no children, but I did not know that parents have no obligation whatsoever to pay for their children’s college education. That’s how they begin their argument: “In our culture many parents feel an unnecessary obligation to pay for the children’s college tuition.” Now, try to follow their train of “thought.” In order to pay for this, they’ll have to put off having more children. But it’s not just that they’re putting off having children, it’s the way they’re putting off having children: “with contraception, sterilization, or illicit use of NFP.” (I had to look that one up, and I think they mean “Natural Family Planning.” I’m pretty sure they didn’t mean “No Fucking Problem.”) Why this same rationale wouldn’t apply to why you shouldn’t send your sons to college eludes me.

It would amuse me if it wasn’t so sad. How could anyone think the life of a Catholic woman, as envisioned by the Catholic Church, could be so appealing to any woman who is intelligent, curious about how the world works, and desirous of wanting to help other people in the world by discovering new things or ways of doing things? It can’t, nor should it. It’s not the First Century any more. It is unreasonable to expect any person to live according to tenets based on a complete misunderstanding of how the world works. That’s true of all theistic religions. All were founded at a time when we Humans understood far less about the world around us, and about our own bodies, than we do today. And we know now that much of what we thought we knew was wrong. In fact, the more you learn from Science that proves the holy texts (of any Religion) wrong about so many things, the more reason there is to doubt the other parts of them. Can you really believe the things the Catholic Church wants you to believe, and still live in the 21st Century?

This is our daily open thread. Feel free to discuss Catholicism, cognitive dissonance, or pretty girls you knew from college because, thankfully, their parents didn’t listen to these clowns, or anything else you wish to discuss.

51 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Saturday, September 14, 2013: The Myth of the 21st Century Catholic

    • Thanks everyone, I celebrated by having a beautiful fall like morning at market. Later I will drink wine with my husband and my hogs.

    • The whole concept of modern religion has puzzled me since I was 14 or so. If you accept the basic concept that a deity was/is responsible for the creation of the entire universe including the incredibly complex and wondrous Earth and all of its inhabitants, why would you think it would be impressed by or desirous of the adulation of one small group of the things it created?

      Sure there is a certain majesty to some of the pomp and ceremony involved in worship services and some of the buildings are pretty impressive but none of it comes even close to what goes on just on the planet alone on a daily basis. Why would a deity be impressed with people wearing strange clothes and doing pretty much the same strange things for some 1,500 years while they ignore the real teachings he supposedly passed on by raping the planet and killing off people willynilly in its name? Feed the poor or build a cathedral? Care for the sick or amass fortunes in its name?

      It makes me think of when my kids were little and they would bring me a paper plate on which they had glued macaroni to make a face. Or a picture they had drawn with crayons with stick figures showing our family. Of course I was impressed, praised them and stuck the work on the refrigerator until the next worthy effort came along. I was proud of them and praised their efforts. The thing is, they grew up. They learned how to do more and matured so they could live their own lives.

      Religion is determined to keep mankind in perpetual childhood, dependent on the praise for their childishness. They want us to hold that need for god/daddy’s praise and never get past the selfish nature that is inherent in children. As long as people don’t need to mature and can always shrug their responsibility for life onto a higher authority’s shoulders, we will be forever trapped in the kindergarten, acting out like spoiled brats.

      Oh and Happy Birtday, Outstanding!

      • I’ve long viewed religion as nothing other than a means for ‘the few’ to accumulate power and use it to maintain control of ‘the many’ — no other purpose than that. I’ve spent more than 70 years looking for the barest shred of verifiable evidence that a deity of any kind exists, or has ever existed, and have so far drawn nothing but blanks.

        About the only thing that bothers me, really, about religion is not that some people care to believe, but that so many believers are willing and ready to impose their belief on others by any means possible, no matter how ridiculous their premise.

        As my two daughters grew up, the ONLY time they were ever in a church was for a wedding, a funeral, or occasionally when they spent Saturday night at a friend’s house, then came Sunday, etc. Younger daughter once thanked me for never insisting she take part in such nonsense; older daughter doesn’t go to church far as I know, but appears to be a ‘believer’ of sorts. No worries on that for me; at least I had nothing to do with any god-based propaganda, so the choice became their own once they reached adulthood.

        Oh, and yep, Happy Birthday OIMF! Many happy returns!

      • I whole heartedly agree, hoodathunk. Like you, I too began to question my religion early on and couldn’t get the answers to my questions. My family was deeply catholic — little questioning, lots of believing — but I could feel myself pulling away. I couldn’t raise my own kids in the RCC, so we went protestant and were content there for a long time — I was too busy raising the family, working, etc. to think much about it. As time went on, however, those same doubts came back and today I am a non-believer — for all the reasons you say, plus more. I just don’t think a “creator” or a “deity” created us with brains and logic and then expected us to suspend all that and follow traditional superstitions like little children followed the pied piper.

  1. What of the uneducated woman, dependent on a male breadwinner, whose husband dies? (of course no catholic would ever get divorced) When one of my sons attended private school the other mothers looked down on me because I, poor thing, had to work. Many of these women now work in menial jobs while their ex-husbands breadwin for new wives.

    • You never know do you OIMF. The other day my daughter took her cousin’s 5 year old to the ice cream social so kids could meet their kindergarten teachers. Everybody must have assumed she was an unwed teen mother because they treated her like shit. Of course in a very Republican area which I’m sure is antiabortion.

      • Years ago, I and a boyfriend took his little brother to an event. A woman looked at us and exclaimed in horror “Is he yours?”. Boyfriend replied, “No ma’m, not yet. We still have three more payments.” 🙂

  2. Pat Robertson loses battle to keep terrible things he says off the Internet

    Last month, Pat Robertson said that gay people wear “special rings” equipped with tiny razor blades as part of a “vicious” gay plot to spread HIV. While most of us would say such an ignorant statement sounds like pretty much all of the other hateful garbage Robertson says on the regular, the Christian Broadcasting Network got really, really nervous about this particular statement and edited it out of the final broadcast of the “700 Club.”

    They also filed a complaint with YouTube to keep Right Wing Watch from posting the video online.

    While the clip was taken down for two weeks, it was restored Friday after YouTube affirmed Right Wing Watch’s Fair Use claim.

  3. via British Bird Lovers

    Star the duck and his owner Barry Hayman with a pint of ale at The Old Courthouse Inn in Chulmleigh, North Devon. Star has developed a taste for Ale and he is often seen drinking at the pub.

  4. Editor’s note: The original post was “6 reasons” and 2 were added since (#6 and #8) just in case 6 weren’t enough.

    Indicative of the claptrap to follow…

  5. Doctor Who: Asylum of the Daleks is on BBC America at 8pm Pacific, followed by Ep 1 of Torchwood: Miracle Day, which also plays in 20 minutes.

      • I expect the next ones will be on subsequent Saturdays. I watched it on TVPC when it was on the Starz channel originally. I’m switching back and forth between Torchwood and two football games. DVR is essential! 🙂

  6. Why is Hawaii’s molasses spill so terrible?
    A 233,000-gallon molasses spill has killed thousands of marine creatures off the coast of Honolulu. But how can an edible substance be so deadly to wildlife?

    …A sticky situation
    Unlike oil, molasses isn’t toxic. But when this much of it surges into the sea, it can boost algae populations that rob the water of oxygen, similar to how nitrogen creates “dead zones” in places like the Gulf of Mexico and Chesapeake Bay. And although oil tends to float on water — allowing some to be scooped up or burned away — Matson’s molasses sank to the bottom of Honolulu Harbor, blanketing the ecosystem in a way that defies conventional cleanup while also directly smothering an array of plants and animals.

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