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I remember being younger, maybe around age 11 or 12… July 4, 2006

Posted by introspectreangel in Catholic, Episcopal, politics.
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…and discussing Church stuff with my mom (she’s a religious educator by profession). She was taking a moment to teach me about, in her words, the difference between “big T” Traditions and “little t” traditions. She was explaining to me that what is mentioned in the Nicene Creed – the Trinity, the Virgin Mary, the Incarnation, the Resurrection, etc. – are the “big T’s” that all Roman Catholics must believe, and that things like the Church’s teachings on birth control and the death penalty (to name just two) are the “little t’s” where one must pray, do an examination of conscience and reach their own conclusions. I was already an avid reader of her “U.S. Catholic”, a moderate magazine, by this point, and I asked her if this was what was meant by the new term I had recently encountered – “cafeteria Catholic”, i.e. a Catholic who picks and chooses what teachings they will accept and which they won’t.

This led to a discussion of what it means to be both American and Catholic. I knew, of course, from lessons both at home and at school all about how our nation had achieved independence, and had been taught that as a result of our nation’s grand experiment and the freedoms we are guaranteed by the Constitution, Americans are a unique breed among the cultures of the world. We believe we can affect our own destiny, and we have a tendency to mutiny against official pronouncements about what we must and must not do, think, or say. Mom told me that the cultures of Europe and Africa and Asia were different – they were older, more patriarchal, more likely to respect the all-male Roman Catholic Church hierarchy, and that as a result, Rome didn’t understand Americans and had always had a contentious relationship with us. She explained this mistaken notion of “split loyalties” between the nation and the Church was why it was such a big deal when John F. Kennedy, a Roman Catholic, was elected President. She also theorized that it is the reason that we will never see an American pope

As I take time to reflect on this today, America’s 230th birthday, I find it extremely interesting that as an adult, God then led me to the Episcopal Church, whose legislative process inspired the American model of a bicameral legislature and a system of checks and balances between the branches of government. And I am so grateful that I live and breathe and love in this country that guarantees me the freedom to agree or disagree with my democratically elected government. I pray for those who are not so fortunate, for all who are abused and oppressed both in this country and around the world, and for all who will wake up this morning and go to sleep this night in fear. May we take the blessings that our freedom brings us and use them to work for the betterment of life for all people around the world. Amen.

And now, for your pleasure, a quote from the 1996 summer movie blockbuster “Independence Day”, starring Will Smith as Captain Steven Hiller:

“Y’know, this was supposed to be my weekend off, but noooo. You got me out here draggin’ your heavy ass through the burnin’ desert with your dreadlocks stickin’ out the back of my parachute. You gotta come down here with an attitude, actin’ all big and bad… and what the hell is that smell? I could’ve been at a barbecue! But I ain’t mad.”

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silly survey July 3, 2006

Posted by introspectreangel in surveys.
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Do you make your bed every morning?

An informal survey of my department was met with two *blushes*, a sideways *cough*, several pairs of rolling eyes, and ultimately, these results:

Yes – doesn’t everyone?: 7
Are you kidding me? 9

There’s a remote possibility that I *really* just don’t have enough work to do.