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The Confluence CCD Class for Incorrigible American Women

If anyone had told me two years ago that I would be teaching a CCD class for incorrigible women, I would have thought they were playing a practical joke on me.  For one thing, I’m the LAST person on earth who should be trying to whip anyone into line where Catholic theology is concerned.  That doesn’t mean I don’t have morals and ethics.  It’s just that until Bart Stupak and his Vatican campaign staff came along, I thought I had a choice of religion.  Silly me!  I’m just a woman.  An *American* woman.  In France, I am told by one of my colleagues, there was a recent bill passed that provided greater compensation to doctors who provided abortions.  Apparently, the doctors in France felt they were being underpaid for the service and fewer of them were willing to perform the procedure.  So they government decided to make it easier for women to get this service by paying doctors more. I’ll see if I can find a citation, er, that’s not in French.

But I digress.

See, American women are not French.  No, we need the guidance of our ministers and fathers and husbands and boyfriends and guys who belong to a 2000 year old men only club who only recently apologized to Gallileo for dissing his heliocentric theory and sell their sopranos to foreigners for sexual pleasure that they aren’t technically supposed to be dabbling in anyway.  (There’s probably some clause that they invoke about how the choirboys haven’t officially taken any vows of chastity)  THEY can get away with it.  YOU cannot. Why can’t you?  I have no frickin’ idea.  I’m just here to teach this CCD class, not make the rules.

Now, I know that some of you are not Catholic.  You may be Protestant or Buddhist or atheists or neo-pagan universalists.  You may have thought you had the right to decide for yourselves whether you believed that zygotes have immortal and innocent souls that needed protection and that you are tainted with original sin for having SEX(!) or being created from the union of two tainted individuals who had SEX(!).  See, this is where you are wrong.  It’s not up to you to decide this stuff.  I don’t know why you can’t decide.  That’s not my job.  As I said before, I don’t make the rules.

Anyway, enough of the groundwork.  Where shall we begin?  Well. let’s start with saints.  To me, saints look like a holdover from polytheism but that might just be my mother’s protestant influence on me.  Saints have feast days in the Catholic calendar.  Saints can intercede on our behalf with the head honchos in heaven.  But each one of them is in a different department and carry out only a single function.  Like St. Anthony is supposed to help you find things.  St. Christopher is supposed to help travelers.  If St. Anthony and St. Christopher got together, they might market their services to people who lose their luggage at airports.

Now, who is the saint for March 25?  You may be surprised to know (or not), that there are many saints available for March 25.  But I have found the perfect one for incorrigible American women who after yesterday’s executive order signing ceremony (that wasn’t televised at lunch to nauseate the unsuspecting diner) are newly converted Catholics.  Her name is St. Dula.

From the Saints and Angels page we learn that St Dula was a:

Virgin martyr at Nicomedia, in Asia Minor, also called Theodula. The slave of a pagan soldier, Dula died defending her chastity.

What a brave, shining example St. Dula sets for us.  We should all go out and do likewise.  She probably couldn’t help it that she was a slave but original sin is powerful.  Her parents were probably responsible for her misfortune because they had SEX(!).   Nevertheless, this poor woman, and by poor I mean a working class person making little or no money, died rather than submit herself to the indignities of having SEX(!).  I find this story strange because had Dula become pregnant from rape, she might have been able to qualify for a federally funded abortion.  But never mind the inconsistency.  Believers in 2000 year old religions have to live with such things and so do you.  From now on.  Until we elect a woman.  Next time.

I pray.

Now, be good and pure or it’s off to the laundries with you.

The Magdalene sisters will getcha if you don't watch out!

59 Responses

  1. “Like St. Anthony is supposed to help you find things. St. Christopher is supposed to help travellers. If St. Anthony and St. Christopher got together, they might market their services to people who lose their luggage at airports.”

    This is the funniest thing I have heard in a long time. My mother is a recovering Catholic. She decided that they were pretty much idiots when they had her do a 2 day penance for marrying my father who was raised Methodist.

    • I LOLed at that too.
      Hubby grew up where if anything was lost, you were supposed to ask St Anthony to help you find it.
      I thought he was the Saint of lost causes, not lost cosas?

    • I was going to cut and past that same section–made me laugh out loud. Nothing like a little RD snark to start the day. 🙂

      I was raised Catholic, and stopped going to church as a rebellious teen, and swore it off for good when they decided my sweet, loving best friend, who died from AIDS, was a “sinner who deserved what he got.”

      That was it for me. Add the misogyny and it’s a no brainer. Having said that, my mother converted to Catholicism, and the structure has been very helpful for her, and has softened her soul. She doesn’t ask pesky questions about women’s and civil rights.

  2. Now, be good and pure or it’s off to the laundries with you.


    On top of which (and this OT), I just saw the video of Bush shaking hands with a Haitian crowd and then wiping his hand on Clinton’s shirt:

    • It’s not hard to laugh at that video. We should be grateful he didn’t throw up on Clinton. I didn’t watch it a second time, but I read yesterday that someone said it appeared he first started to wipe it on his own shirt, and then went for Clinton’s.

  3. Je vous remercie, la fille de la rivière. J’avais besoin de rire.

  4. Bart Stupak and his Vatican campaign staff

    Not to mention Nancy Pelosi and the Catholic bishops.

  5. Welcome to the Gender Ghetto ladies! Yeah, I know things look pretty much the same as they did the day before yesterday, but now that Hyde has been (quietly) signed into law we are officially the segregated sex class.

    As an atheist I’m always prepared to be the first one thrown off the island (if I even make it to the island and don’t get thrown off the lifeboat first) but I speak from the heart when I say that, as much as I love the company, it pains me to see the rest of you here. You don’t deserve it.

    And the male half of the population who are safely home and wrapped warmly with their codified rights, while the other half of the population (the half that gave birth to them) are banished to the ghetto, all I have to say to you fellas is: You oughta be ashamed of yourselves! (Actually that’s not all I have to say but the rest is laced with much profanity and I’m trying to keep things clean here in the ghetto.)

    • I bet it just a matter of time before we get more Jane Crow EOs. I wonder what they’ll sell out from under us next? I’m just waiting for the move on birth control. My daughter says they took away prenatal care in medicaid in Nebraska for undocumenteds as a cost saving device. Those children in the womb aren’t Americans yet which is weird to me if you’re ‘prolife’. If they’re really ‘children’ in the womb, then aren’t they already American Citizens?

      • Good point. But they obsess about the nationality of the zygote mills, as we’ve seen with the birth-ers.

      • Their little hands are too small to carry passports yet, so they don’t qualify.

      • dakinikat, yep, I think President Hate is just getting warmed up. We ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

    • … the male half of the population … You oughta be ashamed of yourselves!
      Nancy Pelosi, other women in congress, NARAL, last years NOW, Ms Mag. all the women who supported Obama, they’re all find and dandy, but all men, not just the ones supporting these people and policies, but all men are your enemy here? You lost me.

      • Poop, messed up the italics bits.

      • I don’t know. I think men do suck, and we should bear responsibility for our gender, beyond our own imperfect personal behavior. Maybe that would motivate some change.

        • I think men such exactly as much as women suck. There are of course all sorts of gender issues in our culture. So yea, there are areas that need to be addressed because of that cultural mess. But given this particular horrible situation, singling out all men and pointing the finger is counterproductive. This is about human rights as well. It’s about money and power. Beating down men without power helps the cause of human rights how?

          • I don’t agree.

          • Pelosi may think her honorary status as the “most powerful woman in the world” gives her a pass out of the ghetto. She is wrong. She and the rest of the gender traitors are in here with the rest of us womenfolk. You’re not.

            DandyTiger, I have nothing but love for the handful of men with the guts to to speak out on gender apartheid. My point was not about who is to blame. My point was about how it is shameful to allow an entire half of the population to be segregated into a health care ghetto by imposing gender-based restrictions on the freedoms and rights that should be guaranteed to all Americans. And, unfortunately, when one enjoys the freedoms that have been taken away from the other half of the population, one is participating in the segregation whether one likes it or not.

          • Strong men who stand with women and fight for their rights have become very few and far between. They are truly looked upon with appreciation. Most men really do not see that woman are under attack today. They are noT paying attention and do not understand you weaken women in a country you weaken a country. A few weak men will head the attacks on women and they should be despised by both sexes.



      • “Men” didn’t do this to us, obama and congress did.

        My husband said he was amazed – because if they had singled out a minority for separate treatment, it would never fly. They wouldn’t even try it.

        Let me add that my husband LOVES to poke at me about feminist issues or point out women who sell other women out. It isn’t his style to join me in any outrage.

        The “elected leaders” have ignored the single payer advocates, gay people, women, etc… they clearly don’t have to worry about our opinions or our votes. I’m starting to think they will be handed victories according to our corporate overlord’s wishes and the perception of our votes making it happen will be continued. Ok, maybe that is a little on the tin foil side, but I am really starting to wonder.

        • jjmtacoma, see my response to DandyTiger above. I am not casting blame. I am pointing out that when one half of the population enjoys rights that have been stripped from the other half of the population then they are participating in the segregation whether they like it or not.

          And if they don’t like it, then they should be screaming to high heavens. But the fact is that the only shouts of protest I’ve heard from any men are coming from the handful of guys who visit TC and RL and my husband. I don’t even need all my fingers to count them up. Offering excuses for the “status quo” and/or shrugging off gender apartheid make one partner to the crime. And, yes, men are doing this to us. Many men are doing this us.

          • No worries – I felt bad for Dandy. Men should be outraged for what this means for women but also because, frankly, this EO will also impact them.

      • Well, white guilt worked for Obama. Can you imagine who we could elect if we generated a healthy level of male guilt?

  6. I like the women saints who found their own abbeys & such, usually without the blessing of the Church at first. St. Clare of Assisi is one of these, I think.

    • I like her too and St. Theresa of Avila.

      It pisses me off to no end that my rights were determined by tax-relieved pedophiles.

  7. If everyone in the country who was listening knew that Obama was signing the Stupak amendment by way of EO right after he signed the bill, then EVERY WOMAN in CONGRESS did, too! They voted YAY on the bill despite knowing Stupak’s abortion rules were going to be added on!!!

  8. According to a comment here yesterday quoting a piece in Huff Po, states can opt out of this mess. If that is true, what about more liberal states like MA and NJ and NY opting out and creating their own state system that includes healthcare for women? You know, like the real thing.

    And BTW does MA provide abortion services in its state health plan?

    • This state issue is the thing to watch here. There will be supreme court hearings about it all before long I think. One big element is that forcing a state’s citizens to buy a commercial, private product violates the commerce clause of the constitution.

      I’m for mandates for public inclusion of public options or better single payer, but not for private insurance. I would love nothing more than for a finding that said forcing everyone to buy a private product was not allowed. Of course a real danger is that they’d find forcing everyone to buy even a government product was not allowed. I think single payer would work around that because no one would be buying anything, it would be all done for you with no bill sent to your door.

      Anyway, I think that’s something to watch.

      • Well taxes are mandates to buy a government product, so that shouldn’t really be a concern.

    • Commonwealth Health Care plansinclude:

      •outpatient medical care (doctor’s visits, surgery, radiology and lab, abortion, community health center visits)
      •inpatient medical care (hospitalization)
      •mental health and substance abuse services (outpatient and inpatient)
      •prescription drugs (pharmacy and mail service)
      •rehabilitation services (cardiac rehabilitation, home health aide, therapies, inpatient services up to 100 days per year)
      •vision care (exam and glasses every 24 months)
      •dental care (only 100% FPG and under)
      •emergency care including ambulance and out-of-state coverage
      •wellness care (family planning, nutrition, prenatal and nurse midwife)
      The health plan you choose may also offer other benefits.”

  9. You forgot to mention that women are sinning every month for most of their lives, by killing their eggs periodically, when they are feeling blue.
    A righteous rant, RD!
    Ans some of the kabuki theater in the Senate where they pretend to fight off Romneycare

  10. OT: Ah, here we go. The start of noises and PR and talking points that will lead to an effort to privatize social security. GS, the rest of wall street, start your engines. More pay is coming your way.

    • well, according to Katiebird’s thread, Obama is hastening the demise and the senate bill Reid’s handling allows businesses to hire new workers and avoid their FICA match for a year. He’s probably getting ready to turn our Social Security accounts over to his buddies at Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan so they can churn some fees. You may want to put this info out on the midday news thread that KB posted.

  11. I’ve never heard of St. Dula, but I like St. Maria Goretti. She died defending her chastity from a rapist who stabbed her to death because she wouldn’t submit. But before she died, she forgave the perpetrator. That is what is expected of us. We must forgive the men who have taken away our control over our own bodies. And then we should die.

  12. I hope this comment doesn’t get me kicked off the island. But I must….

    There are also pro-choice, liberal Catholics. It’s a small movement but many are drawn to the Catholic church because it fulfills their spiritual needs and choose to fight for reform instead of leaving and letting the patriarchy dominate.

    Catholics For Choice

    There are also controversial nuns in the church who have stood their ground on the pro-choice issue, and at least one that I know of ushered women to planned parenthood for abortion services. These are brave, heroic women. Some theologians argue that Christ demonstrated a pro-choice stance in his teachings. I would need to find those links, happy to if you’re interested.

    I get where you’re coming from DK, and agree with much of this post. But please remember that all Catholics/Christians/ what have you, are not fundie zealots, or asexual idiots who cannot think and choose for themselves. Certain sects of Buddshism also rely heavily on “specialized” saints – the Medicine Buddha guides healers, Green Tara, White tara, etc…I don’t know them well but there are many dieties depicted in Buddhist art with specific imagery and mantras for the devotee and their particular need.

    • RD wrote this not me. But all the same, it’s the church hierarchy. One of my best friends is a lesbian who used to be a sister of Mercy but pretty much hates the Catholic church now (Funny how so many of my friends are women who left the church one way or another. )

      She told me that women bear a lot of responsibility for what the Catholic church does to them because nothing in the church would function if they wouldn’t do volunteer. She says they should tithe if they wish and go to church but NOT do any work what so ever until the church treats women better. This was her solution for the strictly male priesthood. She said the minute the priests actually had to do some real work, the church would change fast.

      She argues they enable their enslavement by continuing to volunteer for stuff and work for low wages and free. It allows the church to use them as slaves.

      As for me, I know the Bodhisattva are images that you contemplate so that you can develop those states of higher mind they represent. However, none of them to my recollection are Bodhisattvas because they accepted victimhood or self punishment or anything like that. That’s an abhorrent concept in Buddhism. Your supposed to treat all sentient beings with respect and hurt none of them. That includes yourself. Also, they were never human to start out with in the myths that surround them. Most of them are just left over Brahman deities because folks like their symbolism and stories.

      • It is a crappy hierarchy, and abusive. But you can find that in just about any religious or spiritual community. I previously spent 12 years studying with a Shaivite guru, intense kundalini yoga/meditation with a bit of buddhist visualization. That community to my dismay, had an abusive structure and ultimately I left. I did take the spiritual gifts with me and to this day, am sifting the gold nuggest from the crap.

        I’m saying it’s never completely “this group, their politics, and their faith is bad so let’s discount them completely.”

        • Yup, it is true in a lot of religious communities. Which is why, I’m not there. It’s actually considered really bad karma to denigrate women in vajrayana buddhism because they’re considered wisdom beings and quite special although I still know of some lamas that still abuse the ‘priest’ and disciple relationship there. But fortunately, there’s no hierarchy particularly in that religious philosophy so you can just switch teachers and since there are women lamas, you can find sects that specialize in teaching the women’s widsom practices. That’s what I do, hence, dakini.

          • This guru has major bad karma. The experience left such a negative mark on me, that I have not had the heart to seek another eastern teacher. That may be in the cards for me, or not. This ashram claimed to follow the vajrayana values you describe, but there was deep hypocrisy. I can’t decribe it in a comment, it’s too layered, though I imagine you get what I’m saying.

            We practiced the chod, which invokes dakinis of many realms. I loved the practice and the aesthetics, the devotion. So those are some of the gold nuggets I refer to… but what a mind-f**k, the whole experience. If you care to email me we could maybe dialog offline.

          • i practice chod … it’s probably my main practice and you can email me at dakinikat@aol.com 🙂

    • Sorry I meant RD, not DK.

    • I know that RD respects everyone’s religious beliefs around here. For example, she respects Daki’s Buddhism and my Paganism.
      And I agree with you that there are a lot of liberal Christians and Catholics out there. A lot of Wiccans I know have done secular volunteer work beside Methodists and Unitarians and Episcopalians and the like and found it all to be fulfilling.
      It’s just that the Church is so much like everything else in the world: one giant corporation. When money and power and the roles of women are involved, it gets hard to break through barriers and make real reform in the Church happen.
      And RD is absolutely right about the Saints being a holdover from Polytheism. St. Brigid was a Celtic Goddess that the Catholic Nobility developed in order to convert the local working class hillbilly Druids way back when :p

      • they elevated the virgin mary for similar reasons throughout Europe … a lot of folks didn’t want to give up their goddesses so they just usurped them and replaced them with ‘appropriate’ idols instead

        • Interesting, though, how the Goddess sometimes gets loose anyway. You don’t see her much, but there’s an iconographic version of Mary called the Virgo Armata–the Armed Virgin–who’s clearly derived from Athene, Minerva, the Morrigan and other manifestations of the warrior goddess. Joan of Arc took her seriously and kicked ass.

          Interesting, too, how much trouble the Church has had suppressing “Mariolatry,” the veneration of Mary as sort of an unofficial member of the Trinity and as “co-redemptrix” with Jesus. The feminine archetypes are all there, and the people who need them find them despite the old men in red and purple robes.

          • I’ve always found that a fascinating movement. The church has had a terrible time sending it to extinction. I think some women are far more into Mary than the church would like. That’s why the do so much to define her in their terms.

      • Real feminist reform ain’t gonna happen the the catholic church in my lifetime. Yes, it’s a huge, powerful, money-hungry corporation, in one sense. But local parishes have also played a huge role in relief services and social reforms over the years.

        The church also encourages its members to be ok with poverty, to embrace it. I can’t stand that message, preaching this while the big money machine is at work. There are many incongruities. I guess for me, it’s stepping back from criticizing the leadership and having compassion and respect for some of its progressive, caring members.

        • As we all should :p

        • Real feminist reform isn’t going to happen in the Christian churches, period.

          I was brought up Epicopalian, which probably is one of the least malignant religious organizations out there, and recently had occasion to be in an Episcopal church. It really bothered me to hear a woman priest, little girl acolyte at her side, praising a “Father and Son” as the highest beings in the universe.

  13. Any entity, whether organized religion or cult or social construct or political party, that demands the ceding of personal power is a mine field, and the concept of “follower” is anathema to me.
    On the other hand, I’m a social democrat who believes in a co-operative model in working for the common good.
    When I started writing this, I assumed those two things would seem mutually exclusive. Now they look consistent to me.

  14. Gosh people, what a great thread! RD I hadn’t heard the Polytheisim comment before, and my family was Methodist and Lutheran. Dakini, I think your comments on the problems with volunteerism, as they relate to women, in churches are particularly apt.
    I think they have resonance in the last thirty years return to passing out federal funds to “non-profits” run at “arms length” by religous organizations, rather than spending the money on state and federal run agencies.

    One of the points that I haven’t heard discussed in this issue of abortion, is who is going to decide what rape and incest are. Unless perpetrators of these actions confess, I seems to me that the window for action time to abort is unrealistic. In addition to F**king over women, it appears to me to place doctors in an untenable position. So where there was leeway via state differences before, now there will not be.

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