In the interest of full disclosure, this one will be filled with spleen venting and minor airing of grievances. I’m seeing a trend in the blogosphere that’s disturbing me. It seems like any kind of Catholic who doesn’t openly identify or sympathize with the SSPX has a big target painted on their ass, especially if they openly identify as female. I’ve seen two bloggers lately harassed and quit blogging because of it.

It’s as if in their minds–the bullies–that any Catholic woman must be demure–read subservient and non-threatening–homeschool, and be a mother. Fortunately for the rest of us, the Church is big enough to accommodate everyone. You know the old adage about praying as you can, not as you can’t? That isn’t limited by sex. Some women do find their spirituality through motherhood and raising children. Others don’t. I find it unsurprising that most of these bullies are men under the age of 25 and are single, not by choice.

These attitudes towards women scare me, frankly. This is behavior I’d expect from certain tribal regions of the middle east, not in westernized nations out of a religion that’s gone through the Enlightenment already. It’s as if they can keep women ignorant, they won’t demand things like equal pay, access to education, and the like.

And these attitudes aren’t just towards women, either. You should read some of the hate they spew towards gay, lesbian, and transgendered people. Really, folks, gay is not catching. You can’t become gay because of gay cooties. All confessing your disgust with “the gay lifestyle” does is make you an asshole. While I’m not in the least bit attracted to women–my kidding about Natalie Portman, aside–it isn’t helping anyone, least of all myself, to emphasize this point. There are a ton of lifestyles I wouldn’t be happy with, but it doesn’t mean they’re necessarily bad. All it means is, for whatever reason, they’re wrong for me. And while I’m on the subject, I fail to see how a loving and committed relationship between two consenting adults does anything other than encourage my relationship. We need more love in this crappy world of ours.

Point the third, related to the second. Reading books by non-Catholics won’t make you Protestant or atheist. Witness the ranting by Bill Donohue about the Dark Materials trilogy. I thought they were entertaining. One of my favorite TV shows is produced/written by an atheist (*gasp* and a gay one at that), and I’m finding plenty in it that engages me as a Catholic. (See also the end of “Last of the Time Lords.”) Thank God, but we don’t live in a Catholic world. We need to be able to engage and deal with other points of view besides our own, and being able to appreciate another’s argument is not the same thing as accepting it.

Point the fourth. Just because someone has a blog doesn’t mean that every point of view is welcome. The First Amendment only pertains to political speech, the right to assemble, and public speech. This blog is not public. Nor is any other blog. The blogosphere would be a more pleasant place, if more people remembered that. Nobody has a right to say what they want in any blog, not if they don’t want to be sitebanned.

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~ by Jen on December 20, 2007.

 
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