Whoa with the hating on my husband, ladies! While you're at it, slow your roll with the ridiculous accusations against me, too!
I'd like to take a quick moment to express my sincerest gratitude for those of you sent prayers and messages upon reading My Darkest Secret (either through Facebook threads, this blog or e-mail). I've been humbled and deeply touched by your thoughtfulness, love and generosity. Considering how difficult posting that entry was, you each made it worthwhile with the support, gentleness and understanding you showed. Please know I'll be keeping you all in my prayers.
I have to admit I was not expecting the sort of response that was received. Apparently this was picked up by a page called "Guggie Daily" on Facebook. From there, it was shared (a woman named Mattie apparently posted this to every group known to man), Twittered, and e-mailed all over the place. Wow!
Considering this is an unknown little blog in the corner of nowhere, I was really surprised to see the flood of comments and e-mails. Most have been very kind and supportive. As I said above, I am so grateful for that. Some comments have been slightly confusing, and others have been outright mean. I felt I needed to respond to those latter comments in a general way in the hopes that folks see this as they're scrolling down to troll.
The majority of the "mean" comments can be broken into a few categories. They are:
1. Divorce John. He's a horrible, evil minion of Satan.
2. You should be ashamed of yourself for setting the feminist movement back [insert number] years.
3. You obviously don't understand what the Church's teaching on annulment is, because if you did, you'd totally do it.
4. You are writing this entry to be a spiteful, manipulative jerk in an effort to guilt your husband into giving you children.
5. You're both going to hell. Him for using birth control, and you for allowing him to do it.
6. You don't really care about your son because if you did, you'd be fighting a lot harder to make sure he gets siblings.
And my favorite:
7. You just ruined Santa Claus for me. I wonder if it was MY neighbor all along, too.
Ha ha - okay, obviously that last one was sent by a reader, George, who understands the power of a good joke. Thank you, George! Those others, however, were recurring themes in many of the responses I got. In fact, several messages had combinations of most included!
So instead of answering each one individually (or deleting them en masse again), here is my response.
Divorce John. He's a horrible, evil minion of Satan.
Look, I get that he hates washing the dishes, is color blind and hates HGTV. Fine. And this whole issue of being afraid of the financial / time / emotional strain that future children could place on our family? Yeah, okay... it's a little tough to swallow at times. But labeling him a follower of Satan?
There's this thing called hyperbole. You're totally doing it right, but maybe it'd be best to leave such literary devices to poetry.
You're setting "the movement" back a bazillion years.
I didn't realize that making a sacrifice (albeit a painful one) for the good of my family was setting the bra-burners back a few decades.
One of the Facebook users who commented on my situation had a profile photo of herself in a bathroom wearing her underwear. I'm serious. I wish I was kidding.
Anyway, she said something along the lines of me being the type of woman who endures years of being barefoot and pregnant, scrubbing mountains of dishes and piles of laundry, never able to find satisfaction in anything not related to serving my man.
Sheesh. Really? Is that how my entry REALLY came across?
Let me assure you that, though I do like being barefoot (and would certainly like to be pregnant again), I don't make it a point to spend all my free time washing dishes for
"my man." Granted, I also don't spend my time in bathrooms taking half-naked photos of myself in order to generate "OMG, you're so hot!" comments from him, either.
John and I have discussed this repeated times. This isn't an area one can compromise on, and thus, I willingly make this sacrifice for the good of my family because I love and respect them, myself, and any potential children enough to do it.
If this is considered weakness, I'd be curious to know what you consider strength to be.
Also, judging me for my desire to be a good wife and mother goes directly against that whole feminist idea of women being enabled to do that which they believe is right for them. Or do you not note the hypocrisy of your own words?
You don't know what annulment is, 'cause if you did...
I sincerely wonder if the folks who accused me of this actually understand annulment even half as well as I do. If they did, they'd understand why an annulment (even by Church standards) is out of the question from a moral standpoint.
When John and I married one another, we did it with the full knowledge of what it was we were signing on for. We had discussed children and we were pretty much on the same page for everything. We loved (and continue to love) one another, and we strive to think of the other person in all we do. With the exception of the openness to children, nothing has changed. To request that the Church deem our marriage invalid because he changed his mind AFTER the fact is fallacious. Also, it's pointless as this particular issue is something we have reached an agreement on for the good of our family as a whole. To go through a pointless process when we still wish to remain as a family is so beyond the realm of common sense that I really do kinda shake my head in wonder at these folks who are so quick to "give up" the second something difficult comes up.
No wonder divorce rates are so high (and cheap) in this country. Folks are so busy thinking about themselves that the second a sacrifice is necessary, they head for the hills.
You are a spiteful, manipulative jerk!
I definitely can be, but this most certainly isn't one of those times. Considering this blog was relatively unknown until it got picked up by folks on Facebook, I didn't think it'd get further than the tiny circle of followers I've amassed.
Also, John will likely never read this. He doesn't have to, because he already knows my feelings. I set this off into cyberspace because writing is therapeutic for me. It also helps me better understand my own thought-process and feelings. This had nothing to do with guilting John. How could it when there's really very little chance of it ever effecting him? That's just silly.
You're both going to hell.
Eh, you're probably right. ;)
In all seriousness though, since John doesn't believe in Catholicism, the idea of birth control being sinful is foreign to him. So though it'd still be a sin, it can't be a mortal one because he doesn't have the proper knowledge necessary for it to be a mortal, hell-inducing sin. Also, I cannot be held responsible for John's decision to use birth control (he's the one who uses it, not me). In as plain a way as possible, take this illustration:
Mike hits Jane.
Jane feels pain.
Mike sinned, but Jane did not.
When they die in a fiery explosion later that afternoon, Mike will be punished for his sin. Jane, being blameless (unless she's the one who caused the fiery explosion of doom), will not be judged.
Kinda straightforward, right?
You don't care about Vince 'cause if you did, you'd fight...
Oh yeah - 'cause that makes any sense.
So I apologize that this is a little more negative than my entries tend to be. But in light of recent developments, I thought it prudent to dispel these things from the gate. Blessings to all of you, and thank you for your continued prayers!
Religious Freedoms are in the Lions' Den right about now...
Gay marriage - this is one of those topics that John and I strongly differ on. There was a time in which I saw no reason for anyone to say "No, homosexuals, you can't get married." However, in coming to terms with what that actually spells out for religious freedom - I have a huge bone of contention now with "Gay marriage."
Upon solidifying my stance that homosexual marriage is morally wrong, I came to the concession that homosexuals could "marry" all they want so long as those who understood homosexual marriage to be morally deficient wouldn't be forced to be a party to it.
Well, apparently that's not good enough for folks in power as they're attempting to yet again stifle religious freedoms in the sake of "equality."
Can I go ahead and wave the BS flag wildly?
Much like in Australia, Washington State (in the US) just signed off on a marriage bill that would require Churches (or Synagogues, or Mosques, etc) to offer their buildings / services to homosexuals or face fines for being discriminatory.
Um, excuse me? I can be fined because I practice my religious beliefs in not participating in the sham of homosexual marriage? And that's EQUALITY?
Again - I don't care if homosexuals want to get married in churches that welcome their belief systems. I don't care if they want to get married in the middle of a McDonald's, jumping out of a plane, or in the middle of a park at dusk. More power to them. They're not infringing on my rights, and they're not forcing me to be a party to what I consider to be not only a farce, but a morally degrading and socially crippling sin.
So again - this has NOTHING to do with homosexuals getting "married." It has EVERYTHING to do with having my rights ignored and my very faith threatened. This is a religious rights issue, not an equality issue.
The government is attempting to force me, through threat of financial punishment, to open my doors / services to homosexuals. If the homosexual lobby wants to get even more asnine than they currently are, they could easily stir up bogus claims against a few churches in any given area, successfully crippling them due to fines / fees / etc.
That would effectively shut down still more Churches / Synagogues, etc. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see how dangerous this move is.
Once again - homosexuals can get married all they want under law. I don't really care. What I DO care about is seeing any religious institution being forced to go against their beliefs just so these homosexuals can feel vindicated in their chosen lifestyle.
But yeah - let's keep sticking with the tired "We demand equality" shtick. Let's keep ignoring the fact that this has absolutely nothing to do with equality so much as 1st Amendment freedoms.
Again - for shame...
***Read 3rd paragraph before clicking link!***
A friend of mine posted this link to my wall this morning coupled with this question:
Do Catholics still/did they ever believe that sex is only for pro-creation?
Now before you go clicking that link, I'd like to warn some of my more sensitive readers that you will be taken to a site that prides itself on being hip, irreverent and sexually charged. Of course, it's titled Jezebel. So be warned that the article, though it deals with a valid question many people, like my above friend, ask, it handles religion is an extremely arrogant, ignorant manner which even I (someone not easily offended) offense to. If you'd rather not click the link, keep reading for a basic summary.
The article she pointed me towards dealt with a growing trend in the adult entertainment business. Adult toy makers are apparently attempting to draw in the more religious crowd with shops titled "Covenant Spice," "Kosher Sex Toys," and "El Asira." These are not your typical "Adam and Eve" vendors. They are all G-rated in content (no vixens in sexually suggestive poses, item names are scrubbed of sexually charged words, etc), each site de-sexualizes reviews (and packaging!), and most rely on religious commentary to set potential customers at ease.
I assume this led my friend to ask about that nagging stereotype she'd heard so many times about Catholics believing sex is only for creating children, not for creating pleasure. As always, I thanked her for being one of the few to actually seek out clarification on this point, as it's something many Catholics are typically confused about. Since sex is such a taboo subject, stereotypes abound because no one wants to open their mouths to clarify on account of the subject matter.
Anyway, my answer was this:
Sex is NOT only for procreation, though that is one of the main aspects of it. Sex, to Catholics, is a constant renewal of wedding vows (our wedding vows being to give ourselves to one another freely, totally, faithfully and fruitfully). Sex is the summation of those vows and a constant reminder that we sacrifice ourselves for one another, and if we sacrifice willingly for the happiness and pleasure of the other, good things happen to both of us - and to subsequent children.
Obviously this is as base an answer as possible, but hopefully it gets my point across.
As for vibrators, etc, typically the Church frowns upon those things as they can lead to masturbation (which harms healthy sexual functioning within a marriage) or a clouded view of sexual relations within a marriage itself.
HOWEVER, upon researching this particular question due to another friend of mine (like yourself) who posted something similar about a year ago, I learned that the Church does make allowances for things like this when used in a healthy way.
This link is one that I had come across in my research that I felt answered the question perfectly for me. So I leave it for all of you as well, since this truly is something that has befuddled many Christians. Sex really is OK to talk about in a mature and loving way. :)
The lady you see to your left is Sister Helen Prejean of Dead Man Walking fame. A Roman Catholic sister of the Congregation of St. Joseph, she's a vocal advocate for ending the Death Penalty.
I came across a news article that stated Sr. Helen "officated" the wedding ceremony of Eva Amurri and Kyle Martino. Amurri is the daughter of actress Susan Sarandon who portrayed Sr. Helen in the movie Dead Man Walking.
At first I was irritated beyond belief to be hearing about a sister yet AGAIN overstepping the boundaries of her ministry. She is NOT a priest, and thus should NOT be officiating any sort of wedding (within the Church or outside the Church).
That being said, I quickly remembered that the Sacrament of Marriage does not need a priest in order to occur. The ministers of marriage are the man and wife, themselves. A priest is not necessary, but strongly encouraged. The man and woman (supposing both are baptized) are the only ones capable of providing the "external signs" of the Sacrament (vows).
So while I'm still not happy to hear about a sister taking part in a ceremony like this, I truly believe that hers is a unique case. She is obviously very close to the family and has made a strong, spiritual impact on Sarandons. It is my hope that the newly-wed couple continues to build onto that foundation and seek the culmination of that faith within the Catholic Church that Sister Helen, herself, is a professed part.
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