Finnegan's Awakeby Megan Finnegan
- Dialed down St. Patrick's Day
- A first time for everything
- Talking religion in 2011
- The uncertainty of prayer
- Smithsonian should have kept "ant-covered Jesus"
Posted by MeganFinnegan at 5/25/2009 11:01 PM EDT
This is not a good time to be an Irish Catholic. A few weeks ago, warring factions barely restrained themselves from fighting to the death in the name of Our Lady, and forced President Obama to speak about abortion rights during a college commencement ceremony. People were outraged, people were arrested, and all eyes were turned to a symbolic act that did not do one damn thing to advance the debate on abortion rights and laws in this country. Father Tim writes an excellent editorial on the subject, which you should read here. It is by far the most compassionate and thoughtful response to the subject I have ever heard from a member of the clergy. Since I am 24 and have been a generally active Catholic my entire life, I don’t know if that fact is comforting or disturbing.
Even worse, the Ryan Report brought to light scandal and abuse of Dickensian proportions within Irish Catholic institutions that went on for decades. The best part: the deal that the Irish government struck with the Church to not reveal the names of individual abusers. Great move.
Much has been and will be said about Ron Howard’s second attempt to translate Dan Brown’s novels to film. Angels & Demons, starring Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon the symbologist and Ayelet Zurer as Hot Brunette with an Accent, necessary not at all to the plot but to make Tom Hanks’ stiff performance more palatable, is a disaster of a film, but not for the reasons one would think, or the reasons most critics have laid out.
This movie has garnered almost as much hype as its (much worse) predecessor, The DaVinci Code. As has been reported on this web site, the Catholic League has come out loudly against the film, making one inclined to ask, Don’t they realize that will just make more people want to see it? Ron Howard has been accused of anti-Catholicism, of course; Meghan Sweeney considers, in her recent article, whether the movie perpetuates societally dangerous myths and stereotypes. After seeing the movie myself, I might agree that some people could buy into the plot as factually based and come away with a scornful view of the Church, but honestly, that’s nothing new.
The Church has wisely downplayed their reactions to this installment of Brown’s blasphemy on the big screen. They so vehemently condemned The DaVinci Code that it convinced many people its theories might actually be true – why else would the Church freak out?
With Mother’s Day upon us, I thought I’d launch into a discussion on sèx.
Go with me here.
One could argue that the single most defining element of Catholicism is the belief in the Virgin Birth. You have to accept that Mary was a) without sin, b) impregnated by the Holy Spirit (however that works), and c) gave birth to the actual Son of God. The rest becomes moot if you don’t believe that. Motherhood, then, takes on a particularly holy appeal. And you can’t have mothers unless you have sèx.