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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Betty Does The Oscars

My crazy 65 year old mother watched some of my movie screeners before Oscar night and we chatted about them. Here's a recap.

BIRDMAN: "I turned it off after a half hour. Is the whole thing just acting? If all they are gonna do is act onstage i'm bored. Something else better happen or i'm not finishing it."

THE JUDGE: "I just watched The Judge with that Jr Downey. damn. That was a goooood movie. I bawled my eyes out. That needs to win all the acting awards ever. That was such a gut wrenching movie. That writer sure as hell knows what they are doing, it was to good it must have been based on real life." 

"Is that the one with Wesley Snipes?"

BOYHOOD: "That was the boringesst thing i've ever seen. I'm still bored. I don't even know why that was a movie." ME: "You know that it was the first movie to be filmed in real time over 12 years right? That's why it's a big deal." Mom: "No I didn't know about that. I knew though that it was the same kid the whole time I just didn't know how."

CAKE: "I didn't like that movie. I still can't figure out what happened to her face, all they showed was a flashback of her going over the bridge in the car."

THE IMITATION GAME: "It was ok but it would have been better without all the machine stuff. I don't know what they were doing with those."

THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING: "Was that the one with the guy and the girl? I liked it, it was good. It's so sad when people get Alzheimer's like that." 

SELMA: "Is that the one where Oprah is purple? I probably won't see that one, but I feel like I did after watching all the protests on the news this year" 

THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL: "I didn't get it."

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Ashes To Gay Bashes, Dust To Dust.

Today is Ash Wednesday. A day which mirrors the start of Jesus fasting for 40 days in the dessert. But I chose not to attend mass and be marked as a Catholic today. 
Like most others I was born into a religion. Beliefs, traditions, prayers and practices were instilled in me from the time I wasn't old enough to question why.

I attended Catholic school where the phrase "liberty and justice for all, the born and the unborn" ended our morning Pledge Of Allegiance. Nuns, priests, prayers and church were part of my daily life and felt very normal. I was baptized, made my first communion, and sang in the church group every Sunday. But when it came time for me to make my confirmation in eighth grade, I refused. My mother was mad, but even at thirteen I knew I didn't want to commit to any one religion for my entire life.

As I got older, I became more distanced from the Catholic church. One major dividing factor for me was that I am a pro-choice liberal, and believe church and government should have no place in my uterus. I also am a staunch believer in LGBT equality.
In my life, I have been lucky enough to visit some of the holiest places on Earth. I have been to Buddhist monasteries in China, lit candles inside The Vatican, left prayers in The Wailing Wall, stood on the site of Jesus's crucifixion and resurrection, and appreciated the beauty of Muslim prayer calls echoing over Jerusalem. 
Through all of this I have come to believe that religions are not as different as we all think they are, but the world NEEDS them and is a better place because of them. Imagine the chaos and killing that would erupt if no one believed in judgment day, or consequences in afterlife. 

I had high hopes that the Catholic church was about to merge with our modern society with the new "cool" pope. Unfortunately recent statements regarding gay families seem to contradict everything Jesus would believe in if he were alive. To me Jesus was a leader who's strongest message was loving everyone equally and helping others during times of need.
Which makes me question, why is the church's leadership so closed minded when it comes to acknowledging gay rights and marriage?
Why should a man loving a man be treated differently than woman loving a man? Why deny a child a loving home because of sexual orientation?
One obvious reason is that this is a threat to their perception of what is considered traditional. Another is that they take the Bible as fact, but if that IS the case, the contradiction lies here:

The Bible says: Leviticus 20:13: If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death, their blood is upon them. 

Romans 1:26-28: For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a base mind and to improper conduct.

And from the catechism of The Catholic Church: 
2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

Though the Catholic church does not believe in evolution, perhaps the time has come for them to evolve. Clearly many other things in the Bible are no longer practiced. You know.....stoning, animal sacrifice.....all of the dietary laws in Leviticus. WHY BIGOTRY?!

 I guess since murder and stoning are illegal in our day and age, the best the church can do is imply that being gay is a problem and a choice not accepted.  In a recent event that sparked controversy, A Denver priest stopped a a woman's funeral, because he would allow no indication that the mother of two was gay in the church. I personally know many LGBT who believe in Jesus and God, but feel so marginalized that they no longer go to church. I can see why. 

Until the Catholic church becomes a place where all are truly loved and accepted, I will no longer consider myself Catholic. I continue to hold out hope that someday the Catholic church will fully blossom into the religion Jesus would have intended it to be. If that day ever arrives, I will proudly have my head marked on Ash Wednesday.