Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Feast of the Assumption with Small Children: Take 2

     I'm really happy we were able to celebrate The Assumption this year. I think I mentioned in a previous post that, while we didn't celebrate The Assumption while I was growing up, it's a pretty special holiday for me. There was a huge party in Cleveland's Little Italy while I was in college, while the party itself was only related to Assumption by name, the day really stuck with me. In addition, Within the past five years or so, Mary has become a big thing for me: the Mom thing, the daughter thing, the feminist thing: Mary-focus is a given.
     This year the celebration was done in the Robson traditional fashion: by realizing The Assumption was the day before and deciding we would just do it today instead. There are lots of blogs written by women who are way better at this than me, and they had a million different ideas with special breads and prayers, and decorations and tablecloths. These women are very good at using tablecloths. I was working under pressure, but I got the cliff notes. One trip to the grocery store, print off a coloring page and ba-bam! Assumption party done!
     There is one thing about doing these parties spur of the moment that I think benefits the kids. I tell them some details about the day, the person and the event, and they help me think of ways to celebrate. So, in the car on the way to the grocery store, I'm giving Amani a little crash course so she can help me scour the pastry isle. "Mary, Heaven, blue, fruit, flowers, roses!  Break!"
     She did great. We found cookies that looked kind of like roses, and she wanted to get blue flowers to decorate with.  Because I hadn't thought about the coloring page ahead of time, Amani and I searched through Google images to found ones we liked. She chose one of the Nativity because she likes the story about baby Jesus best, which I would not have known if I had prepped the pages myself. While we were coloring, we got to talk in a way that I don't think we could have if we had chosen a more involved activity.  She told me she really liked Mary's veil, and we talked about halo and why holy people glow.  We talked about how the angel told Mary she was going to have a baby. It was this quiet intimate time for us that really made the day for me.
     We barely pulled it off, but we did it, and the kids really enjoyed it. I feel bad that I am not better about preparing these little celebrations, but I think I'll get better at it. Right now the kids are so little, that I figure even if they marginally get the idea of the holiday, it's one Catholic-identity point.  They have like, five now. If we can make it to one hundred points, we unlock the identity achievement where they will call themselves "spiritual but not religious" when their adults. It's a long way to go, but I think we can make it.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Did we lose a bet or something?

     You guys. Oh my God, you guys. I don't even know. The Trump thing? What the Hell is going on? Does anybody understand this? I am overly fascinated by it, and I need not to be, but I can't help myself.
     I mean, it's like watching a clown car on fire. It's so grotesque, but fascinating and really dangerous, but also completely of ridiculous.
     It makes me giddy. It does, and it shouldn't but I just can't help laughing. It terrifies me as well also, obviously, but it also entrances me. Ugh. I know, I shouldn't laugh, but I... I am a terrible person.

     I want to understand. I do. I have already spent way too much time on this trying to parse some kind of explanation. I get that there is a large portion of this country who feel marginalized and unheard. I get that there is a group of people who feel like their way of life is being threatened and want to go back to the 60s with white, Christian traditional values...whatever. But then they start writing about Trump and..I just lose it. I get this big grin on my face, and I just get giddy. It's all just so absurd. I've been reading a lot about Trump supporters. Hey! Here's some good news: Most Catholics don't support him but still, according to polls, two in five Catholic voters support him. still...HOW? How is that possible? See, there's that grin again. I can't...

     I do get the Life issue. Pew Research Center reports half of Catholics who are voting for Trump are actually voting against Hillary. And that makes sense- kind of. Hillary has made it clear that she is pro-choice and for many Catholics, the pro-life issue is the only issue. One person even went as far to say, "Abortion is regarded by the Church as the most important moral issue". I don't agree with that, but, you know, that is the main thing for some Catholics and I respect that even if I disagree.

     These pro-life people know that Trump was formerly was pro-choice, but now claims to be pro-life. They know he could just be pandering. They know that at one point, he said he would nominate his sister, a pro-choice extremist, to the Supreme Court. They don't care. What they care about is that that he said he would nominate supreme court judges that would overturn Roe vs. Wade and they KNOW that Hilary will not overturn Roe vs.Wade, so that's all that matters. They hate Hillary; Trump is not Hillary; there it is.

     Of course, there are a lot of people who hate Hillary in general; a lot to an irrational degree. Did you see the Republican Convention? The vitriol against this woman truly reveals the worst side of humanity. This clearly evil mentality does not seem to slow down some of the Catholic Trump supporters though. In fact, they take it a step further and pretty much just start vomiting pea soup. Hillary is tearing down a man's potential to be president. She consorts with the devil. She should be executed for treason. Above all, she is a liar; the most lying-ist liars who ever lied. Hillary is a liar, and Trump is not. For REAL. They are not joking.

      I can understand that. I don't mean I agree with their point, I mean that I recognize those words placed together as a semblance of thought. I don't like Hillary all that much, and when you consider how women with power have faced a lot of irrational hatred, the hostility towards Hillary is familiar.

     As for Catholic that actually support Trump, there are no guarantees. These people are performing gold-medal-winning gymnastic feats to rationalize their alignment with both Jesus and with Trump. It is truly spectacular to watch. They all refer to the "Truth", "dealing in reality", and the "Natural Law". They believe that our culture suppresses "The Truth". Liberals are irrational. Traditional Republicans are a charade. The media is a fiction. The Pope is a fraud. The entire Church has been immersed in "The Lie" since Vatican II. They hate Vatican II. They hate that it feminized their men and stopped the mass from being in Latin.
     They really love Latin.
     Because "The Truth"should really only be spoken if said in a language that no one actually uses.

"Truth involves the realization that our rule of law comes from nature and nature’s God, and not from movements in popular culture or populistic politics that come and go"

Got it, so not popular culture, not from populistic politcs = Donald Trump

     Trump speaks the Truth. He deals in the rational. He is a realist. He is a patriot. He is a warrior. He will protect Christians and restore Conservative values.

     It's true that Trump is brash, careless, and mistaken. His policies might be wrong, and his personality may be a diplomatic liability. He might have been married three times, and support the war crimes, but God uses all kinds of people to bring about his kingdom.

     Except for Democrats. He definitely doesn't use Democrats.

     Trump is Reagan. Trump is St. Don Juan of Austria. He is Constantine and John the Baptist. He is Silvio Berlusconi...but in a good way. He holds us "up on eagles wings". He "will deliver us from evil".

My friends, these people say they are Catholic.
They claim to follow Jesus.
They vote.

And that's when I stop laughing.