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Posted by: Helen Philpot | May 4, 2016

The separation between church and state is razor-thin, but cuts from the church are so much more painful.

Margaret,  think nothing of it, dear.  This place is as much your place as it is mine.  Matthew says he can post the letter from your nephew here.  I have no idea how many people will read it, but I think it is a beautiful letter and should be shared.   Harold and I had many disagreements about the Catholic Church, but even he would have been upset by this.

In a world where politics can divide us so sharply into two colors, one would hope the church could paint a lovely canvas of how we should be.  Sadly, the separation between church and state is razor-thin, and cuts from the church are so painful.

I mean it.  Really.

The following is a letter written by Margaret’s nephew. I have removed the names to spare the bride any embarrassment. ~ Matthew

Dear Father _____,

My name is ______.  I am a member of a large family that has a long and rich history with your parish.  My father’s family is one of the founding families for both your town and your parish.  I am writing to you today after attending my niece’s wedding this past weekend.  I am sure you were aware that it was a wedding ceremony only and not a mass because the groom’s family is Methodist.  Because of that, and because the bride comes from a very large family, I would have hoped that your words that day would have been welcoming and accepting of people from various backgrounds and beliefs.

I am gay.  I attended the wedding with my husband.  We were legally married in the State of Texas last December on our 15th anniversary as a couple.   We attended the wedding with our daughter whom you might have seen turning the pages of sheet music for the pianist.  That pianist is my goddaughter.   Her mother is my sister-in-law. She was raised by two women.  She was not raised Catholic but converted when she married my brother.  You also might remember the very emotional Maid of Honor.  That was my other goddaughter, the sister of the bride.  One of the groomsmen was my nephew.  In addition to his having two gay uncles, he has a lesbian aunt on his mother’s side.   His mother and father and their other children also attended the wedding.  His sisters were married at your beautiful church as well.  In fact, the bride’s brother, my nephew, was also married at your church.  Many of our long-time family friends also attended.  

Most of the guests that day were seeing us for the first time since we announced our marriage.   You might be surprised at how many congratulations and hugs were exchanged in the back of the church when we arrived.  My cousin gave me a hug and let us know that her daughter, another goddaughter of mine, wished us well.  Her daughter is in a same-sex relationship.   Everyone was so welcoming and kind to us.  That is what families, friends, and decent people should do when they see one another.

I am not sure why you decided to use my niece’s wedding as the time to speak out against same-sex marriage, but needless to say your unkind words upset many of the wedding guests that day.  The fact that you linked your most unwelcoming tone to the teachings of Pope Francis was particularly sad as I had, in recent years, begun to think that maybe I might one day feel a little bit of comfort being back in the church of my childhood.  I guess the Pope’s words of welcome, forgiveness and healing have simply been good sound bites for the press.

Father, you can rest assured that I am now even more resolved that there is no place in the Catholic Church for me or my family. After listening to you, I am even more content with my decision not to raise my daughter in the church.   Two sisters-in-law, a brother and two nieces let me know that evening that they are also done with the Catholic Church.  I guess if your plan was to turn people away from the church while blemishing an otherwise beautiful day for the bride, then you can feel good in your accomplishments.

Please know that I am not angry with you nor do I expect any sort of response.   In my own way, I have forgiven you as I would forgive anyone who speaks from a place of ignorance.  I actually feel sorry for you as I am sure it is difficult to follow in the footsteps of Christ when you are filled with such judgment and unkindness.  Maybe in the future you can save your politically charged comments for a regular mass instead of a wedding where there are surely many guests who are not Catholic.  But how sad that your words are not always comforting and kind.

At a time when our country and the world is filled with such violence and unkindness to people of different backgrounds and cultures, it would be nice to think that the church could be a place of peace, comfort and love.  At a time when we see our politicians spewing words of hatred against other candidates’ wives, fathers and family members, it would be nice to think that church is a place where families can come together and not be judged.  It would be nice, but that isn’t what I experience in your church.  Of all the places to have felt discrimination and hatred, a house of worship should have been safe.  It was not.

My only lasting sadness about this is for the bride who had to sit there and listen to you speak so unkindly about her family.  And I am very disappointed as I had thought Pope Francis was having a more positive impact on the church.  I stand corrected.

Sincerely,

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Responses

  1. Terri in NY: big Wendy fan right here! Yes, I do think that her heroic stand in the state house went a long way to the court’s decision. Frankly, I think she is spiritual kin to Ruth Bader Ginsburg. RBG knocked it out of the park with her decision. It was actually totally uplifting to read that SCOTUS decision.

    Like

  2. That should read “Wendy Davis”.

    Like

  3. In the end, Wendy David won re SCOTUS decision. Well done!

    Like

  4. Clinton leading Trump by 12 points. Yay!

    Like

  5. it just can’t get any better…sure it can
    http://www.youngcons.com/sweet-irony-dems-get-takeout-from-chick-fil-a-during-sit-in/

    Like

  6. Like

  7. Cynthia, I love your solution for dog and cat poop. I just this morning scooped my cat’s poop from her litter box so now the garbage can in the garage does not smell so good. I’d much prefer to recycle it as you suggested.

    Like

  8. Did you know you can recycle your dog or cat poop? Put it to good use!

    Mail to the:

    Westboro Baptist Church
    3701 SW 12th Street
    Topeka, KS 66604

    Use this for a return address:

    National Rifle Association of America
    11250 Waples Mill Road
    Fairfax, VA 22030

    Actually send to Congress, NRA and Westboro. They all deserve it, especially the Congress!

    Peace.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I can’t ‘like’ this post because what your nephew and family had to endure is definitely not likable. I’m sorry the priest thought he had a right to do a sermon on this topic. He should have cleared his sermon with the bridal couple. I don’t believe the Pope feels this way at all. I’m not Catholic. There’s a reason for that. This is part of it. Know that the rest of the world, the “REAL” world has room for everyone. Love is love. Period.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Terri, can I add to your list of Trump’s “characteristics”, a “user of marriage”. This guy has no intention of staying married to anyone until death parts them. Wives are total throwaways. I don’t want to see this happen in the White House. UAW can growl all he wants about dead Presidents who used the White House to attract “fine benefits” but my premise stands. We’ve had bachelor President’s before with someone from the family filling in on the social duties. Thats understandable. What we haven’t had and hopefully never will have is a nasty divorce in the White House.

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  11. Why am I not surprised that UAW supports racist, sexist, xenophobic, ignorant, business failure, con man Donald Trump? But please, leave Bernie’s name out of it.

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  12. Oh noooooooo, not that.

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  13. talk about idiots
    http://www.chicksontheright.com/orlando-terrorists-isis-pledge-will-be-redacted-from-the-official-911-transcripts/

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  14. st it was blame Bush
    then it was blame the NRA
    now it’s blame the racist Christians
    http://www.chicksontheright.com/orlando-terrorists-isis-pledge-will-be-redacted-from-the-official-911-transcripts/

    Like

  15. and maybe Hillary will be in jail by then
    Trump/Sanders2016

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  16. Terri in NY, that gap in between the end of the primaries and the start of the conventions is always fraught with the possibility of being a bottomless abyss for many candidates. I, too, am going to enjoy the on-going Trump soap opera of As The Stomach Churns!

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  17. I have to say I am enjoying watching Donald Trump and his campaign implode. It’s been a long time coming, but I sense the fever has broken. You cannot unring the racist bell he has been chiming for the past year. I think it has finally caught up to him. What a reprehensible character he is, and not very smart to boot.

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  18. Cynthia, that article is a real eye opener, isn’t it! The family values gang will always use it to cover their own iniquity.

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  19. FYI – very interesting take on Hillary:

    View story at Medium.com

    Peace.

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  20. Must mention a blast from the past in regards to Hillary. William Safire. Noted muckraker. He’s the one who started the Lying Hillary thing in an article he wrote years ago, an article that he did not fact check before publication. Granted the technology back them wasn’t as easy as it is now, but there is no way this guy could be given a pass on this. He collected innuendo and rumor and threw it at the public. There was immediate backlash but the smear still stands. Other way more professional journalists have concluded that Hill is about as decent and honest as they come, no way like Safire muckraked. Of course the lowest common denominator will forever clutch his mud to their breasts!

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  21. If you were to believe everything written on Facebook or online regarding Trump’s business transaction scandals or Clinton’s email scandals…. they may both be carted off in cuffs and leg irons. That would leave Obama for a third term. Yippee!!!!

    ps – I agree with the recent comments by some very smart women. Mageen has made a great point regarding Clinton’s femininity or lack of. Scares the heck out of a number of men.

    Peace.

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  22. Ditto.

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  23. Hey, Mageen – “FROM YOUR KEYBOARD TO GOD’S EAR!!!”

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  24. Trump is one worried dude. He obviously felt as if he was on top of it all during the primaries but now that there is a gap until the general election campaign he is doing his best to manufacture, as usual, all the attention he can get lest his devotees lapse into a thinking mode and fall away from him. God knows he has every right to be afraid, very afraid. The Trump U. lawsuit is turning into a RICO trial. It starts the same day as the R convention in Cleveland. As the defendant, he has to be in court for at least the first day. Bummer! He will do anything to avoid that. But damn! If he is a no-show he could be subpoenaed. Disobeying a subpoena can lead to a contempt of court charge. Still more resistance? Bench warrant! Cops and handcuffs! More resistance? Jail! And no, that will not delay the lawsuit. Trump will be “convenient” to the courtroom. Or, he could just bag it all and flee the country, claiming that the nasty unfair judge is out to get him and he is not safe in the US of A. Convention goes ahead with a nominating process just like the one in 1912 that nominated Woodrow Wilson after umpteen votes. As a fugitive, his assets could be frozen! Wow! An impoverished Trump! Just like all his investors! Karma wins!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Once again the shots are heard round the world and what are we as American citizens going to do about it? Are we going to look the other way as the NRA continues to hold us hostage or are we going to rise up and insist that there be a ban on assault rifles? Every person who commits murder has some mental issue; we can’t lock them all up in case they carry out their agenda. Mothers drown their children and set themselves on fire in just one recent incident. We can’t prevent every tragedy but we can help prevent mass murders when assault rifles are involved. While we’re at it we need to address the pacs that fund our politicians’ campaigns; the pacs that expect said politicians to toe the line in their favor once they’re elected. The politicians we elect should be answerable to us, not the big spenders who profit by decisions that enable them to hide their money in off-shore accounts and move their companies to foreign countries. Let’s tax them extra for those things and only give them tax breaks when they do all their business state side.

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  26. Don’t sell yourself short, Terri – You’re plenty eloquent!

    I’m getting REEEALLL pissed off at all these “send thoughts and prayers” BS emails and posts that are showing up on FB, and from any number of other sanctimonious sources. One FB “friend” posted that she was going to delete anything that sounded like a “political rant,” and then posted some rainbow heart thing saying “More Love. Less Hate.”

    Of course, that’s all very nice, but what else do we need to “pray” for from the Universe…? Sheez… We’ve been given brains, and voices, and (hopefully) VOTES, to deal with this stuff on our earthly plane. Are we supposed to ask our Almightly, whoever he/she may be, to just fix everything for us? Again? All the time? Aren’t we supposed to actually DO SOMETHING ourselves?

    Or do we just ignore the tools we’ve been given, and sit here and “offer prayers”…? Prayers for WHAT? That our Higher Power do what we’re perfectly capable of doing? Talk about chutzpah!!

    Makes me F-ing crazy. (Can you tell?)

    Gato

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  27. Gato says it do well. tRump is naught but a snake oil pitch man. Hopefully all the people will realize that before much longer.

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  28. I am sickened about the mass shooting in Florida today. Is this the country we want to be? Is this all fine and dandy with the NRA? Do LGBT people in this country still need to be afraid to openly be who they are?

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  29. As usual, all the racist rants about Obama causing the mass shooting in Florida are now floating to the surface. Cannot figure this out. The people making such statements sound like they have been sitting at the bar way past closing time and are either afraid to go home or can’t remember where it is! This is very similar to the **** arising from the haters when the kiddies were shot down with an assault rifle inn Newtown. And as usual Trump can’t keep his pinhole shut even on the internet. Ditto for his staffers! There really has to be a special place in Hell for him and the NRA!

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  30. I say “Ditto” to all you said. I recently heard someone talking about the Democrats being the “grown-up party” and I like that distinction. We could even go as the GUP’s but someone might not notice the “U” in place of the “O”. Trump’s going to be the death of the Republican party and they brought it upon themselves. We just don’t want him to be the president as that would be the death of much more.

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  31. And let’s not forget the recent report in USA Today that Trump doesn’t pay his bills! And the people most affected are the “little guys” who make up some of his supporters. Truly, there is not much good that can be said about him. The narcissism, the bragging, the lying, it’s all too, too much.

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  32. Hey, Tip – Well, I certainly would have included that, had I known the details! Sounds par for the course – especially a “Trump” course, like the one in CA where, I understand, the 18th hold just fell into the Pacific.

    Remember the movie “The Rainmaker,” with Burt Lancaster? Blustering con man comes into drought-suffering town, all swagger and boast, and takes them for everything they’ve got, promising them he can make it rain. Forget how it ends, but the main character certainly reminds me of He, Trump – except that Burt Lancaster was fairly attractive, as I recall.

    We’ve had the Trump Shuttle, Trump clothes, Trump wine, Trump steaks, Trump water (for god’s sake), Trump bedding or mattresses or whatever that was, Trump “University” (no comment needed), and the Trump name splattered all over everything from apartment buildings to god knows what else. ALL SNAKE OIL!

    “MAKE AMERICA RAIN AGAIN!”

    ‘Nuff said, but you know it won’t be my last!

    Gato

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  33. Well said, ladies. But you didn’t include that trump pulled millions out of the casinos and then left the shareholders to the bankruptcy courts. Those casinos began with such a debt load that there was no way any could succeed. That’s called fraud, griffting probably several more names. Trump was bailed out by an illegal loan by daddy trump cause he could make interest payments. And this piece of slime thinks he can run a country!? He’s a sociopath, pathological liar, and should be in an institution for the mentally ill. Can’t wait to see it run off the stage ranting and teary when Hillary mops up the floor with him!

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  34. Hi Gato,
    As usual, you say it all way better than I could. Another of my favorites: “we have to reverse Obama’s failed policies.” Since when is 70+ months of job growth, and bringing the unemployment rate to 5% “failed”? They assume we all have amnesia and have forgotten who got us into the worst recession since the Great Depression. And as you say, the GOP keeps repeating things they know are not true. Facts and truth don’t matter–just keep saying the same things and their base takes it at face value. If I had my druthers, Obama would have a third term, but since that’s not possible, let’s go Hillary! Enjoy your Sunday. I look forward to hearing more from you as the campaign continues. Some good laughs will be had, I’m sure! Tomorrow Trump will attempt to revive all the “scandals” from the 1990s–as if he doesn’t have skeletons in his closet.

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  35. Morning, Terri – Just to start this lovely Sunday off with a nice juicy rant…!

    One of the things that makes me craziest about this current “election season” is that so many of the GOP seem to feel that all they have to do to make something “true” is to SAY IT. And the mainstream press, for the most part, just sits there and lets them do it.

    A few examples:

    “Transgender people pose a serious threat to our children in public bathrooms.”
    “Climate change is a hoax.”
    “Paul Ryan is a serious ‘policy wonk.'”
    “Obama is the worst president ever.”
    “Big corporations are the true ‘job creators.'”

    And, one of my personal favorites: “Donald Trump is a successful businessman.” BULL DOODY!!

    As more and more facts dribble out, as they inevitably do around anyone who’s running for President, it becomes more and more clear that He, Trump is: (1)NOT as wealthy as he keeps telling us he is; (2)No longer the owner of a single casino; (3)Not the owner of most of the buildings bearing his name (He just sold the name to the actual owners); (4)Not beloved by Hispanics, women, African-Americans, Asian-Americans, or just about any other demographic other than wealthy or close-to-poverty whites; (5) NOT a “unifier” in any sense of the word; and (6) has barely a clue about how the world actually works, or a single “plan” or “policy” other than that ridiculous wall thing.

    And that’s just for starters…

    I’m guessing he’s starting to get “bored” with this whole process, now that he’s got some official, serious, and very formidable opposition, with the chops, ground game, and cash to mount a relentless onslaught. Let’s see how long he lasts. Count the times we continue to hear, “I’m being treated unfairly,” and “The system is rigged,” and “He’s a hater.”

    (You can only call Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas” a very few times, after all…)

    Now let’s all go and enjoy the day!

    Gato

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  36. HI Mageen, and Cynthia and Gato. Great posts by all of you. I have always believed the old “who would you rather have a beer with” test was a bunch of BS. Hillary is tough, smart and prepared. She runs rings around most of our so-called “leaders” in terms of knowledge and toughness. I don’t need to like her, I just want her competence. She has been dragged through the mud by the media since the 1990s, so if she’s a little guarded, we can all figure out why. Donald Trump represents a true threat to our country, and he must be stopped. The fact that so many GOP leaders have rallied around him in spite of all the racist, xenophobic, misogynistic and just plain idiotic things he has said, and continues to say, taints them all. Shame on Paul Ryan, the golden boy of the GOP. He has shown us what a sheep he is. If that is the best the GOP has to offer, God help them.

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  37. Of course, the GOP has “gotten taken” by (i.e. did not personally select) someone outside government. They just let He, Trump cruise on, thinking either he was a joke (which I think he is), or that they might be able to eventually control him (which I doubt anyone can).

    I’d love to feel confident that they’ve gotten themselves in such a position that it will be difficult for them to get out of it: They’ve got a “candidate” who is so awful that the whole party is likely to suffer, all down the line, OR they manage to weasel somebody else in, one way or another (which I wouldn’t put past them), which would cause major mayhem from the (armed) hard-core Trumpeters. They could probably “manage” even that.

    But, as I focus on potential disasters, I must remind myself that the Dems have a formidable arsenal themselves: the non-white vote, Obama, Biden, hopefully most of the Bern Brigade, and so on. AND a candidate who knows her way around the block.

    Got to get people out to vote. That’s my focus.

    Thanks for your thoughts…

    Gato

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  38. Cynthia, I agree that the media has been too heavy on emphasizing the bad all the while not “cracking bad’s knuckles” as in heaving heavy questions at Trump without wilting. Hill has been getting the heavy hitting instead but it has only shown her to be the stronger person as in the last Benghazi Congressional dust-up where she outlasted the assailants on that panel. Now there are congress critters who are openly admitting that it was all a political show and that there was nothing she could have done in that situation. Another blog, Daily Kos, has a piece about the real and dark story behind the resignation of John Boehner and how the loudest cheers came from his own party. That piece says the R’s do not acknowledge any limit on their exercise of power as written in the Constitution and constitutional law. They only saw Boehner as sleeping with the enemy. This was not news to me. I knew decades ago that there is actually a monarchical party in this country and only they are fit to rule. Not govern. Rule. And by the way, they were just as mad at George Herbert Walker Bush as they were with Boehner. And I will never forget listening to the radio at the office when Newt Gingrich was being blamed entirely and solely for the failure of the Contract With America otherwise known as the loss of the House to the Democrats. Newt lost his job as Speaker and had to resign his seat and still the radio spewed such hatred at him from his own party.

    Summation: You have to watch these guys. They could come up with someone who is totally outside of government in order to bring the entire country down.

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  39. Mageen, thank you very much for the post on Hillary. That is how I also see her. I do not at all understand the hatred some of the people feel toward her. They just repeat stuff they have heard other people spout about her without bothering to really find out about her life. However, she has become tough as nail, tempered as steel by it though. So, in the end, those feelings toward her will not be wasted. No thin skin here, she is ready. I trust she will do us good. The Hillary I see is a compassionate individual, who also knows that her country is built on values that empower self determination. Call her pragmatist. She is said to be too cozy with Wall Street. But as greedy as it may be, Wall Street still serves a purpose and fuel the business pulse of this country. I believe she understands that.

    Thanks again Mageen, I hope the Hillary people read your post and try to find you to work for their campaign. Maybe you already do. Keep up the good work. She needs people like you out there.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Hey, Mageen – What a beautiful, thoughtful, and wise post. I loved every word of it; moved me to tears. We do forget what a price is almost always paid by women when we don’t spend a lot of time being “nice”… It may be because we can’t, or we just don’t give a s**t.

    Let’s hope the next generation of our daughters (and sons) relishes the reality of strong, competent, gutsy, and ornery women, fully capable of “protecting” themselves, acknowledged for their abilities to run countries and businesses, as well as taking part in raising their own children as smart, self-fulfilled, compassionate, and generous human beings.

    Obama has toughed it out as the first black man to do all he’s done, and with such grace and style. He and his family have opened doors for many, without ever asking for a single bit of acknowledgement for having done so. Hillary may be a bit more outspoken, and let’s love her for that. It’s plenty!

    Thank you for your wonderful post!

    Gato

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Gato, I think a lot of people see Hill as tougher than a woman should be; i.e., not at all feminine, more like a man. I am so unbelievably tired of that (bleep)! When I was a little girl I loved running like the wind, climbing anything, exploring and riding horses. This was at a time when little girls were kept captive to frilly dresses and socks and hair bows and gifted with dolls. I had dolls, one nice dress, clean ordinary socks and a doll or two. However whenever I was seen in a dress holding a doll people thought I was trying to fool them. They knew the “real” me. Nowadays little girls can dress whatever way they want and take karate lessons instead of ballet. Hill was raised as the lone girl in a male household. She had to be tough. It is what made her a standout student all the way through to her JD and a standout lawyer.

    When she was campaigning for the New York Senate seat, she would go out into the countryside and talk to farmers, climbing over fences and trudging across fields if she had to and she got to know them and they respected her. As Secretary of State she did pretty much the same to meet people in her official duties and more people around the world respected her than not. She also as First Lady and Secretary of State got to meet and know all the movers and shakers in every country. As President, there won’t be time wasted on a “learning curve”.

    I know Bernie about as well as I know Hill (I worked with offices on the Hill). He’s a great guy and can do a lot for this country, especially in fiduciary situations like the mega-banks etc. He’s right. They are so big they can only fail.

    I’ve been waiting and working for the First Woman President ever since I met Eleanor Roosevelt about a year before she passed away. (She was the guest speaker at a Special Convocation hosted by my college and I was the one who kept being the squeaky wheel and insisting on her.) The FDR presidency actually was two people as FDR had to depend on her so much to be his outreach to the people and receive her feedback.

    So here we are as a country with two nominating conventions coming up. The one in Cleveland starts the same day as Trump’s RICO trial. The other nominating convention in Philadelphia is slated to be so big that two venues have been booked.

    And one more thing personally about Hill: I look the way she laughs – all out and full hearted. None of this well behaved little girl tee hee stuff!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Hi, Porch Sitters! Yep, Cynthia, I certainly understand your concerns. And I wouldn’t call myself a Hillary “fan,” either. HOWEVER – and this is easy to forget, in Alice’s “Land of the Red Queen” that currently passes for US Presidential campaigning – that a WOMAN has, finally, been chosen as the standard-bearer for a major political party. (And why the hell did THAT take so long, we might ask ourselves…)

    She may not be a woman we “love” (and we could do well to ask ourselves, seriously, why we don’t…), but she is certainly undeniably capable of governing. Were she not a Clinton, her “transgressions,” and “lies,” and whatever else, would have been forgotten months ago. But she IS a Clinton, so that will never be the case.

    If the driven-to-desperation-by-the-fruits-of-their-own-labors Republicans do find some way to dump He, Trump, and install some more “palatable” version of exactly the same sentiments (such as Ryan), I do not doubt for one moment that she will not hesitate to enter that fray, too – and probably prevail. When you’ve been around as many blocks as she has, you learn stuff.

    (BTW, remember how she was mocked for suggesting that a “vast right-wing conspiracy” was gathering to undermine her and Mr. Bill? Doesn’t seem quite so loony these days, does it?)

    I have never thought that He, Trump has any wish to actually be POTUS. The job involves real “work,” and not just sitting around tweeting about how unfairly one has been treated. The GOP may find a way to rid themselves of him, or he may just drop out – because he’s been treated “unfairly,” of course. Should that happen, his more fervent supporters will go ballistic, and the US of A will not be a fun place to be for quite some time.

    And, when the dust settles, and the bodies are counted (literally, because we all have guns now), we will wonder what the hell all this was about.

    Gato

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  43. I think Hillary is very qualified however I am a Bernie fan. I will vote for her.

    My fear is the Republicans will find a reason to disqualify Trump and replace him with Paul Ryan or some one equal. Clinton can destroy Trump easily but Ryan etc would give her a real fight, IMO.

    Perhaps it is just my age but this country is very sick. Citizens United, voter disfranchising, election fraud, lazy media, lazy voters, “career” presidential candidates, do nothing Congress, racism/bigotry, hate, anger, common sense replaced with stupidity – just to mention a few…..all making a mockery of our democracy, this country and “we the people”.

    WTF!!!!

    Peace.

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  44. Congratulations Hillary on being the Democratic nominee! I can’t wait to see President Obama campaigning for her. And congratulations to Bernie Sanders for running a fabulous race. He’s got a lot to be proud of. And now, let’s defeat that racist Trump! (shouldn’t be too hard).

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  45. Helen, I sure hope you are high and dry! Those pix and films of the flooding in TX are freaking awful! Please say that you are OK!

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  46. I have a gay son. When he was ignored and treated disrespectfully at our Presbyterian church by ministers and congregants, I resigned my membership. I tried other churches and knew that he would not be accepted there either, gave up and was ‘unchurched’ for 5 years. A friend was the first person outside of immediate family that I told about my son. She had invited me to go with her to her church a couple times and this time she said “I keep tellin’ you, you need to try out my church.
    Unitarian Universalists are accepting and welcoming of everyone. 20 years later, this church is my family. I’ve organized our Gay Pride Parade participation for the past 7 years and am very proud of the participation by many UUs and their friends – young, old, straight, gay, bi, etc. There is no shaming or shunning in our religion. Rather acceptance, understanding and compassion. Plus lots of social action to protest the wrongs of the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  47. Beautiful, Christ like response to a Pharisees ‘book o’ rules’ attitude!

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  48. Why is this blacked out? >

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  49. My parents’ pastor used the sermon at my father’s funeral to publicly chastise me in front of a full congregation. Not surprisingly, any chance that I might return to the Catholic church died that day.

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  50. Erik1986, for the same reasons you gave about your falling out, I also no longer want to visit Ireland. Yes, picture book beautiful countryside. The continuing conflict between the ordinary citizen and the once all powerful Church did it for me. Sad the way the clerical side keeps hanging on, hoping for a turnaround to the good old days. Ireland is loaded with highly literate people who have read something like “wherever two or more are gathered in my name” and actually know they can carry on quite well without the authoritarian organization.

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  51. Ah, so sad to have what should be a happy day ruined by such venom. Still, for me, meh….off to Vegas, JP, receptions for friends and relatives in hometown afterwards. No need for religion to spoil things. I think many people below, however, are misinterpreting the things Pope Francis has said. He may be trying to put a “happy face” on issues, but the Church’s teachings HAVE NOT – AND WILL NOT – CHANGE. It’s just happy talk, with no substance. I went to Catholic school from kindergarten through high school graduation. I was agnostic by age 12, and haven’t been in ANY church except to attend friend’s weddings, or sadly, funerals, since. Fortunately, my family was equally irreligious – my mother with sort of Buddhist leanings (though technically Anglican), and my dad a lapsed Catholic. I was sent to paraochial school because then – 1950s-early ’60s – it was thought to be a better education than the public schools afforded.

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  52. As a recovering Catholic, all I can say is that anyone who thinks the Catholic church is a place off “peace, comfort, and love” is naive at best and blatantly in denial at worst. I think that Pope Francis believes what he says, but that’s doesn’t mean that other church functionaries have to think as he does. It was an unfortunate occurrence, but not surprising.

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  53. Oh my! My dear grandmother’s Missionary Baptist preacher said the exact same thing at her funeral! My daughter was 15 at the time, and I had to literally hold her down in her seat to prevent her from going up and slapping that “preacher” silly. The cemetery was right across the street from the church, and this nitwit had the audacity to come up to me to offer condolences. I just looked at him and said “I can’t believe you had the unmitigated GALL to call her a sinner! She was one of the sweetest, kindest people I knew. I hope you rot in hell.” and stalked off. That was over 40 years ago, and it still makes me furious to think about.

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  54. Several years ago I was seriously questioning religion as a whole. One of my dearest friend’s mother died after an agonizing fight with a brain tumor. This mother was the sweetest, most generous person I think I have ever known. The funeral was at the mother’s Baptist Church and as the service was moving along with lovely music and wonderful accolades about this woman, suddenly the minister slammed his fist down on the lectern and shouted “but she was a sinner!”. That was the defining moment for me. The minister knew this woman well and for him to say that and go on and on about sinners and their punishment….that was it. I was done with religion. My husband is a Lutheran (as I used to be) and still believes and we have had many discussions about religion and God. I am still the same person. I still don’t steal, murder or commit adultery but I don’t do those things because it is the decent thing to do, not because I am afraid of being punished with the threat of going to hell. How many times have you heard some one say “I am a God fearing Christian”? Do religious people really behave only because they are afraid of being punished by their “vengeful God”? Atheism is at an all time high and rising around the world, especially among the young adults.

    I hope these newlyweds can shake this off and enjoy their new life together.

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  55. It is a shame indeed that so many churches have become places of discomfort. Of division, judgement and hate. Places of political opinion and power. So un Christ like.

    A greater shame to have used a captive audience brought together by love and joy to spew such terrible hateful rhetoric. An ugly stain of darkness on what should be a day of sunshine brightness of love, peace and joyfullness.

    Congratulations to the happy couple. May your lives together be long, filled with love and great joy.

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  56. Thank you for including such a thoughtful, articulate letter. How sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  57. As a recovering catholic who was abused as a fourteen-year-old seminarian it’s infuriating to me that this insensitive, reprehensible behavior continues. There are many kinds of abuse, and it seems the church has a long way to go to root out all of it. This priest should be ashamed.

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  58. There is being a member of a faith and then there is Faith. The latter is what we move on to as we grow. Very often this move comes from a very unpleasant experience such as suddenly realizing that there are way too many people at the top of faith groups who cannot distinguish between the unequivocal love of God and a country club with all kinds of overt and covert criteria for membership. When it becomes completely obvious that “church” is the latter, it is way past time to jump ship lest silence simply adds to pain for other people already at hazard.

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  59. Beautiful letter. I left my family’s church as a young woman because I wanted a career. My parents cried when I got a degree and bought a condo because it removed me from being marriage material in their eyes. It was painful to be rejected, but I never looked back.

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  60. How beautiful and powerful the letter. How courageous the gentleman who wrote it.

    May the bride and groom build loving memories to assuage the sadness of the day of their wedding.

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  61. Shocking and very sad indeed. Blessings to the new bride and groom. May they have many happy years together and in time, I hope the negative parts of their ceremony are overshadowed by the happiness of their union.

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  62. HI, Suzanne – Every time I hear a story like yours, about how a church you believed would cherish and love you as you are, turns around and denies anyone its open embrace, for any supposed “reason,” I cannot help but think how non-Jesus-like that is.

    If god, or whatever creative force one knows, is all-wise. then how could that force ever make a “mistake’? Really? Made some creatures boo-boos, just so some other creations could “correct” those boo-boos? I don’t think so. Got some of us right, and some of us not-so-right…? Probably not.

    I was raised a Methodist, whatever that means. But I think I figured out pretty early on that nobody had to follow any rules to get a loaf or a fish – you stood on the hillside, you got ’em. Don’t think anybody had to present an ID.

    And nobody has the god-given right to stand outside a bathroom, either, to check anybody else’s birth certificate gender ID, BTW. Slight digression, but not unconnected…

    Gato

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  63. Amen!

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  64. Thank you for sharing . The church can indeed be a place of great pain.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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  65. I was through with the Catholic church many many many years ago. That is a very powerful letter. How dare that priest ruin the bride’s special day like that.

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  66. What a powerful letter! I shared it on my public Facebook page. I used to be catholic. I had been divorced, and had the audacity to remarry! Horrors! I was told I could no longer receive the Sacraments, because it would cause a “scandal” in the church. Ironically, the priest who told me that was later outed as a pedophile. NOW, who is this scandal?

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  67. Bravo. I could feel your pain in every word. I am a parent of a beautiful daughter who married her same sex partner last November in Key West, We live in Alabama so I need not say much more. They were even turned away from bridal shops here. Thank you for sharing these very personal word.

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  68. A bit more here. Very often a couple do not have the option of choosing the celebrant for the wedding liturgy. There really aren’t that many ordained priests left in the U.S. My husband and I were truly fortunate in our celebrant who was a personal friend of his and had been trying to get him married off to the right girl for years. That turned out to be me. However, the inability of choice aside, a couple can make their own views known as to how they want to remember their special day. As I recall, liturgies such as weddings and funerals require a stipend and money not only talks, it screams. Amazingly enough when we returned from our honeymoon out of the country we discovered that the local bishop had “decommissioned” several local priests. It turned out they weren’t of his political bent. Our celebrant was one of them. The bishop apparently had held the Bad List privately for some time before letting it go public. What happened to our friend was beyond unjust. We stuck with him and eventually he left the area reasoning that his current “condition” would somehow harm us locally. We never forgot him.

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  69. Thank you for sharing a beautifully written, eloquent letter. I am so sorry your family had to endure this during what should have been a perfect and happy occasion. I can relate to the extreme disappointment and sadness resulting from such an experience.

    I grew up in a few churches. My mother called us the roving ecumenical council. I was privileged to attend a Catholic church in the late 60s with a presiding priest who was a Liberation Theologist. He was a living example of Christ and his true teachings, and the church and its community were wonderful, to ANYONE. Unfortunately, due to the politics of the church in the 70s, he was eventually excommunicated by an old guard bishop. And that’s when I left religion altogether.

    But by my 40s, I was a student of Buddhism and agnostic. I was invited to a church by a colleague whose husband was the preacher. I had met him once before and gotten into a conversation about religion, so he knew my stance. Because she was my friend, I attended a service in which her children were taking part. You would have thought I had a red arrow pointing at my head the whole time I was there. I was “a stranger” among the congregation. They were wary; I did not feel welcomed.

    Perhaps the preacher sensed the hostility of his parishioners, or fostered the environment, as he personally felt it was his job that day to convert me. his sermon was intimidating, blasted the fool who is a non-beliver. For 15 minutes, he went on and on, berating and insulting, complete with lots of threats about burning in hell. Where I initially hoped I would attend and leave feeling inspired or uplifted, Instead I left feeling bullied.

    Great way to bring a person into the fold, with threats and shame. Sadly, it created a distance in my friendship with that woman. Battering a human soul is not the way to lead a person to the shepherd. And, as Matthew points out, a house of worship should feel safe and warm.

    I applaud your nephew for his courage in speaking out in such a gentle and kind way. Please let him know that haters and the ignorant are now in the minority. Screw any religion that doesn’t hold true love as the basis for their teachings. Perhaps he will find a home in the Anglican or Episcopal church (Catholic lite), or Lutheran–they were the first to embrace the LGBT community back in the 80s.

    We love him and your whole family. You have blessed us with your writings. Really. I mean it.

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  70. I’ve said for many years that any church whose priests/ministers preach politics should lose all tax exempt status. Perhaps then they would stick to what they say church is here for. In fact the hypocrisy of many churches and their leaders is legion.

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  71. Thanks always for your insight and sharing that very well written letter. I had the same experience with the Catholic Church. My soon to be father-in-law was in his last few months of life so we spent a couple Sunday’s with him in church. I prayed to keep an open mind and heart but one Sunday was anti gay and the next was anti abortion…’my mind snapped shut after that. Tax the churches finally as they all seem to be getting away from God and into politics.

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  72. The RCC, where being in love with a consenting adult of your own sex is a heinous sin, but child molestation ranks with biting one’s nails. I am so glad that I was smart enough to walk away from the hypocrisy, sexism, and hate mongering of the Catholic church when I was eight years old, and equally glad that very few, non-immediate family members still listen to that spew. Even they reject much of the dogma. For all his lip service to common human decency, this pope is no different than the last one. He is headed exactly where Pope Rat is headed.

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  73. What a great letter! Such a shame the couple’s day was spoilt by a bigot. They will never get that precious day back.
    They wonder why church attendance is dropping – this is exhibit one.
    The vast majority of people like to feel that they are ‘inclusive’ and it is this kind of thing that divides us when we should be united as a species.
    I know one thing, this couple will have all the support and love they need to help them along from such a loving compassionate, welcoming family around them – The sad thing is that it won’t be from their own church.

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  74. send this letter and any video/audio recording directly to the Pope—he may choose to deal with it in a very direct manner, as he has with many in the church hierarchy in Rome and in the US who are found to be the anti-Christ and destructive of his teachings

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  75. […] Source: The separation between church and state is razor-thin, but cuts from the church are so much more pai… […]

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  76. BRAVO! BRAVO! BRAVO!

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  77. Sad and weepy. Comforts to the bride and groom.

    Liked by 1 person

  78. Such an eloquent and thoughtful letter! I agree with everything Matthew wrote, except his repeated use of the phrase “your church”. The only thing that keeps me going back to my RC church is the community and the sure knowledge that WE are the church. The clergy are often mistaken that they are somehow superior to the rest of us.

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  79. Holy cowgirls!! I can tell you it takes all kinds, my priest would NEVER do that! NEVER and I mean it, really!

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  80. My first reaction is surprise at finding so many people in one family, that are gay. I know plenty of gay people, but have never encountered so many in a single extended family before.
    Second reaction is the priest chose the wrong service to speak as he did. Even in a regular mass, he should simply be addressing his congregation, no matter who or what they are.

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  81. What a wonderful and sad letter. I too am no longer a Catholic

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  82. I am so sad that a special day of love was tainted by such bigotry and meanness. I know that the priest was doing what he felt was right but a little generosity and loving acceptance on his part could have built an even stronger community of faith. Sad, sad, sad and certainly would not have been how Jesus would have celebrated a day of love.

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  83. As always, I wish the VERY best to both Margaret and Helen. They are both brilliant, shining lights in very dark days.

    I must preface the following “rant” with the fact that I am a resigned Episcopalian (that’s a long, sad story) who attends the Roman Catholic Church regularly because my kids are (and their late mother was). But I do not contribute to it nor would I consider joining, and that isn’t just because the previous bishop lied to me when I challenged him in his attempt to influence parishioners’ votes in a national election some years back.

    I have read all of the comments contained here (something I seldom do) and see a certain common thread through many of them. Why do so many people feel that they have to join an organized religion? Surely most thinking adults have attained a faith. What more do they need? Some would say that the priest is just a man with all the foibles of males. Amen. Yet, females, as individuals, also may have undesirable characteristics. Why allow either males or females to influence one’s faith? Of course, if you attend a church for social reasons, forget what I just said.

    Just a thought.

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  84. This is what is wrong with religion today. For a Priest in the Catholic Church, a church with its own record of terrible crimes, to stand in judgement of others especially members of a wonderful large family just there to attend a day of joy for a bride and groom, is truly hateful. If that is the meaning of Christianity as taught by this church, it is a church that shouldn’t be teaching.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Liked by 3 people

  85. How dare such a bigot wear the cloth of the church. I am so sorry that the wedding was ruined by (to quote Helen) an asshat.

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  86. Dear Margaret, If your nephew and his husband still seek High Church spirituality, complete with Communion and traditional rituals as well as outstanding music, please encourage him to explore the Episcopal Church. In my experience they are very welcoming to everyone, regardless of gender preferences.

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  87. Beautifully written and one of the many reasons I have not been inside a church in more than forty years.

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  88. How awful that a person under the guise of the cloak of God would denounce anyone, and especially do so at a wedding ceremony. I’d want to ask that priest how many millions the Catholic Church has paid out in lawsuits to the people assaulted by priests/pedophiles.

    Love,
    Janie

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  89. Beautiful letter. And best wishes to the writer and his husband for a long and happy marriage. I left the Catholic church fifty years ago because of judgements like this. I am straight with a straight sister and three gay brothers. The pain of what they have gone through runs deep.

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  90. Beautiful. And best wishes on a long and happy marriage to the writer and his husband.

    Liked by 1 person

  91. I’m a Methodist but I have Catholic friends and family members. I’ve been so impressed by Pope Francis and also Father Richard Rohr in their ecumenical approach to faith. If I weren’t strongly based in my protestant faith I’d consider the Catholic church but not if I landed in one like the one in this letter. Our current presidential race to the White House is entertaining and alarming at the same time. I have no patience with anyone who picks and chooses what God meant in any situation via the Bible. I call that the Bible Buffet and I’m not being flip in my assessment. Even Jesus warned us about thinking we know God’s mind. My God loves all his children and that includes EVERYONE: no matter what their faith or anything else that makes them different from me. I’ve even assured my own children that even if I don’t like what they’ve done I still love them.

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  92. What an excellent letter! There are ‘men of God… and then there are people who really understand God/ Christ/ Love

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  93. Oh.my.God. What a sad, terrible and unnecessary experience. I was married 48 years ago and we had the full service at Holy Trinity in Washington, D.C. The celebrant did not give any kind of a sermon. That has been my experience with every wedding I ever attended in an RC church. I am convinced that there is a percentage of clerics who cannot abide Pope Francis or even any of the changes since Vatican II. They want a return of the Latin mass where they could for the most part turn their backs on the faithful. That right there says it all. I no longer attend my parish church. As a widow on a TIGHT budget I cannot afford to tithe and the RC is famous for passing the basket as many as three times at a mass for special collections added to the regular one. Too bad. I gave a lot of my time and energy to that church years ago as did my late husband who also ended up disgusted. And he was an altar boy once upon a time.

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  94. “Colorful” goes off her rocker and honks loudly, then finishes up with the dazzling

    “Jesus hear me! Save the little girl!!!!
    Sessdhrjwtjwrsffanaafjfajajfa
    Adjfajfanfanwfjwfnsfnfssc
    Acnaffnsnsgsncnscccns
    Scngsmgsmgsmsgmmgsi”

    Is that Typing In Tongues?

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  95. Considering the sex scandals involving priests during the last 30 years, this priest should clean his own house before condemning others. Shame on him!

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  96. People keep telling me I’m a “fallen away” catholic but I say no, I ran away as fast as I could when I was 19, 54 years ago. The farther away I got from Catholicism the clearer it became that it is an authoritarian religion that sucks the soul out of people and also cleans out their pockets to support the corrupt institutions and banks of Rome. I am now a very happy athiest. I volunteer many days a week to worthwhile community endeavors and feel fulfilled.

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  97. Reblogged this on Adventures and Musings of an Arch Druidess and commented:
    This is even worse than the minister that gave the altar call at my Dad’s funeral because mom told him there were pagans and gays there that needed to be saved.

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  98. Ignore Colorful. She’s a harmless, semi-regular who occasionally goes off her meds.

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  99. I am surprised you don’t moderate the comments on this blog (which I love). Or maybe there is method in your generosity; it allows folks like “Colorful” to show their true colors.
    Blessings on your entire, beautiful, gracious family!

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  100. Someone didn’t take their ritalin today

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  101. I support the Priest. It is his job to save your soul from hell where it is surely going because of your demonic marriage. He knew you were there and used that opportunity to save you and your sinful family. Your poor daughter is exposed to your filth! I will prayer for you and all the sinners here.

    Jesus hear me! Save the little girl!!!!
    Sessdhrjwtjwrsffanaafjfajajfa
    Adjfajfanfanwfjwfnsfnfssc
    Acnaffnsnsgsncnscccns
    Scngsmgsmgsmsgmmgsi

    Liked by 1 person

  102. This is such a sad thing to have happen! I also have gay and lesbian family members and friends which was part of the reason I left the Roman Catholic Church many years ago.
    BUT: there IS a Catholic Church that is inclusive (AND ordains women!). Check out the Ecumenical Catholic Communion. I found my local church at a Pride celebration a few years back and it is SO nice to experience the traditions I’d been without for so long!
    http://ecumenical-catholic-communion.org/

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  103. Darlin’, if marrying the refrigerator makes you happy and the refrigerator doesn’t mind…I say go for it! Who am I to judge one way or another.

    Life is short.
    Be happy

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  104. How very sad for these people to have their day ruined by a so-called Christian. Where is the love, acceptance and kindness that Jesus taught?

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  105. I’m not sure this priest got Pope Francis’ s message.

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  106. This is why there are so many “not affiliated” folks out here. The churches I’ve been in have been filled with the most judgmental people. Christ’s teachings don’t seem to mean much to them. So, I practice His teachings in my daily life. I treat all the way I want to be treated. And, yet, I am a heathen since I don’t go to church.

    I am sorry this priest thought a wedding was the appropriate forum for his bigoted opinions. Your family is right to get out.

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  107. Hear! Hear!

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  108. Helen,
    Thank you so very much for having your nephew share that beautiful letter. I agree with every word that he shared. Our world is becoming a terrible place of hatred, bigotry, cruelty and so very many more foul things. I hope that he and all of his family are doing well and know that there are so many of us that share his feelings.

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  109. This is very sad . I can not believe Pope Francis would support this priest and his words and more importantly neither would Jesus or God.

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  110. Reblogged this on Central Oregon Coast NOW and commented:
    “Margaret and Helen Blog”. This deserves to be read and shared. “At a time when our country and the world is filled with such violence and unkindness to people of different backgrounds and cultures, it would be nice to think that the church could be a place of peace, comfort and love. At a time when we see our politicians spewing words of hatred against other candidates’ wives, fathers and family members, it would be nice to think that church is a place where families can come together and not be judged. It would be nice, but that isn’t what I experience in your church. Of all the places to have felt discrimination and hatred, a house of worship should have been safe. It was not.”

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  111. Congratulations to your nephew and his husband. With such a caring and forgiving heart, it will be a marriage to last.
    The churches harbor, without understanding they do so, many whom I would call the “Anti-Christ.” Jesus Himself must slap his forehead at the representatives of the churches founded in his name who skew His message of Love and Tolerance and Forgiveness. Judgement, hatred, shaming, abuse, and discrimination are not Christian. They are voices of the Great Liar and the shame that lives in the mind of the person doing the talking. They are sick and blind and oblivious to being so. Which is why they need more love and compassion and forgiveness from those who try to live a truly Christian life of Love and Mercy.

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  112. Certainly, something to think about. Thank you for sharing Margaret’s nephew’s well-written letter.

    Cathy

    Cathy Beattie

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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  113. As a lady who dumped the church many years ago, this beautiful letter spoke with eloquence about many of my own feelings. At least that ignorant priest didn’t rant about birth control and abortion as I have heard other ignorant priests do at weddings. Had I been the bride I would have told ignorant priest to put a sock ( preferably unwashed) in his bigoted, evil mouth.

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  114. Wonderful letter and a more forgiving attitude than I would have had.

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  115. It’s sad, and I am in tears for the couple, and their families, that a joyous occasion was used that way by the priest. I’m not a religious person, but I consider myself a person who lives the spirit of Christianity – to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I’m trying to forgive this priest for his ignorance, but it’s hard. Best wishes to the couple, and to their wonderful families!

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  116. Reblogged this on A Thankfully Imperfect Woman and commented:
    This blog deserves to be shared. Read, listen and learn my friends. Let love in, let it live in you, and share it. Kindness matters.

    Liked by 1 person

  117. Not all Catholic Churches and Priests do this! Please visit Corpus Christi Church in Piedmont, CA when you’re in the SF Bay Area. We’re much more accepting and loving and praying. Like me, I know there are many catholics praying that the Church embraces all people soon. I may still be a minority catholic in this regard but I definitely not alone in this dream and prayer. Thanks for sharing and congrats to you and your spouse on your long awaited marriage. In Texas no less!

    Liked by 1 person

  118. I find it so sad to know there is still so much hate in this world – you’d think we would all appreciate love anytime and anywhere.

    Liked by 1 person

  119. Sadly, too many clergy use the pulpit to express unloving sentiments. The former pastor at my parent’s church did the same. My husband is Roman Catholic, while I am Lutheran. This former pastor inserted an insult toward Catholics into his sermon every time we visited my parents. It was to the point that we left town on Saturday rather than sit through more insults on Sunday. Happily the man retired from his position, eventually. I’m certain he is still an angry and bitter man.

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  120. What a small and ugly soul that priest has, to use a joyous occasion to spread his own personal bigotry and hate! That was a wonderful letter and I’m grateful you shared it with us, but it shouldn’t have been needed — if the Church practiced the gospel of the One it worships.

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  121. Beautifully written, poignant and intelligent. Congratulations to the nephew, I hope his marriage continues to be everything he wants and deserves.

    The Catholic church is not alone. I experienced a somewhat similar situation in a protestant church years ago. At that time, I was married with two daughters, aged 2 and 4. My son had not been born yet. My husband got our family involved in a “non-denominational Bible-believing” church. Very involved. It was a small congregation and we all knew each other. I knew the pastor’s wife, knew they kept a television hidden in an armoir, while he denounced television from the pulpit. I knew several women who kept their magazines hidden under the mattress so nobody would know they read things other than the Bible. I can remember one time being appalled over a man’s insistence on his wife being subservient to him — I stopped by to visit the wife one morning and she was baking pies, and was so happy to be doing this small thing for her family, when the husband came home for lunch and threw the pies in the trash to punish her for not having his lunch ready and wasting her time baking.

    And yet I continued to play their game. My husband drove the church bus on Sundays, picking up people who had no way to get to church. I helped clean the church for Easter. And I taught vacation Bible school. My class was preschoolers, as my own children were, and I worked very hard to make it a good class. I spent money on teaching aids. I taught them a song to perform at the next Sunday service. It was a fun class, and the kids enjoyed it. While devoting my time to that, though, I let my own household chores slip, and by Sunday I had not done the laundry, and my girls were running out of clothes. So I dressed them in little sundresses with matching bloomers, cute little red dresses with white daisies on them that my mother bought for them, and we went to church.

    I was denounced from the pulpit for dressing my daughters like whores.

    My husband and I walked out of the service, and never returned. Through the years I’ve experimented with several religions, but never found one that seemed accepting, loving and caring (like the Bible says one should be). I hesitate to call myself an atheist, I don’t know what’s coming after death, I don’t presume to know. But I’m pretty sure it’s non-judgmental. I don’t go to any church. I find that walking on the beach at sunrise does more for my soul than any sermons. I’d rather be compassionate and caring toward my fellow man than to try to convert him to a religion. I have no room for bigotry, misogynism, or hatred in my life.

    Liked by 3 people

  122. Is COMPASSION going to become a word only known among those of us who done follow a Christian lifestyle? From the form of this letter, I find a thoughtful, family oriented, caring man. By Christian teachings, is he not a child of God? a friend of the Lord? one to be loved and nurtured? one to be celebrated? he and his family deserving of compassion?

    Having studied the scriptures, I do not remember Jesus ever converting anyone by shaming them or their actions. Did He convert the scribes and Pharisees by judging and shaming them? or, did He convert the tax collectors and street people when He sat down and broke bread with them? I doubt many of the Christian right understand the subtleties of these exchanges.

    The premise for treating individuals in the manner exemplified by Jesus with words from his followers are found in all religions in the world.
    For these learned priests and other members of the Christian correct fundamentalists, maybe it is time to bring back the WWJD.

    It is a sad commentary when I find myself in a time where saying that someone is a Christian is a negative observation.

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  123. This is why I am a proud member of the Episcopal Church. We welcome all!

    Liked by 1 person

  124. Janna just said exactly how I felt!!

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  125. Sadly, the Catholic Church will not change. I figured that out decades ago and left. Congratulations to Margaret’s nephew and his bride. I’m sorry the priest was insensitive.

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  126. I would say, “unbelievable”, but I know this story is all too believable. I left the Catholic church at age 22 after two events in my life:

    1) attending a Catholic university and living with 3 dorm-mates who took it on themselves to report me to the Dean of Women when I began dating a divorced man my mother introduced me to. I had to endure a scolding from the Dean, and she wanted me to promise to stop seeing him (I didn’t; in fact I married him the following year).
    2) Soon after, I went to confession at the nearby cathedral, and was on the receiving end of a fire-and-brimstone-you’re-going-to-hell lecture in the confessional from the priest on duty. I never returned to either that church for services, or any other Catholic service (I did attend Easter services at an Episcopal church once at the invitation of neighbors).

    I married my man in a non-denominational service at a small chapel, and we were married happily through thick and thin, until his death at 85 several years ago, a 48 year marriage. Meanwhile, annually thousands of Catholics pay their bishop to get “annulments” so they can marry twice or three times.

    Liked by 2 people

  127. Margaret,
    You tell that amazing nephew of yours that that old priest was just jealous of him because he has a man in his bed.

    HA!

    Liked by 2 people

  128. Thank you for sharing your nephew’s letter, so eloquently full of love. And should he ever need the support of a loving church, he and his husband may want to find a Unitarian Universalist congregation where they Stand on the Side of Love

    Liked by 1 person

  129. I am horrified that this gentleman and the guests were treated so cruelly in the church. I know many in the clergy do not feel this way, nor do their guests or their families, nor does my minister. I am sorry that a sacred occasion was spoiled by a head-in-the sand individual. He is entitled to his views but this was not the place or time to make them known.

    Liked by 1 person

  130. I left the Catholic church and never looked back when the priest used my mother’s funeral to insult my brothers who no longer attended church, wore long hair and participated in anti war demonstrations.

    Liked by 2 people

  131. Time to end tax exemptions for all religions in this country. They have to pay to play.

    Liked by 4 people

  132. “I am speechless and I am in tears.”

    As, I am sure, is the Christ who accepted all. . .

    Liked by 1 person

  133. Bigotry often comes robed in religious vestments. It doesn’t make it any less of a sin, although the Catholic Church seems to have more than its share of practitioners. Thank you for sharing and best wishes for Margaret’s nephew and his husband for a long and happy marriage. Perhaps these words from Paul will be helpful: “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” The church of his childhood espouses bigotry, a childish and ignorant behavior. It may help him to realize that now that he has become a man, it is right that he should “put off childish things.”

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  134. Why do people think that bigots will change for special occasions? If this young woman grew up in this church she had to know that her priest was a homophobic bigot. That’s not going to change because it’s her wedding day. I’m very sorry that this happened and hurt so many people on what was supposed to be a joyous day. But people need to recognize that bigots don’t change their spots. If he said something ignorant about gay people on an average Sunday then you can’t count on him not to say the same stupid ish at a wedding.

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  135. What a kind man he is and so eloquent! Shame on that Priest and shame on any religion that does not practice acceptance!

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  136. Very sad. I am sorry for you and your family that you had to go through this. Best Wishes for all of you for your futures.

    Liked by 1 person

  137. I am so sorry that Margaret’s family had to experience this. A wedding should be a day of celebration and welcome, not condemnation and judgment. My congratulations to both Margaret’s nephew and his niece on their marriages. May they both enjoy loving homes where this kind of prejudice is only a distant bad memory.

    Liked by 1 person

  138. How very sad for the bride and groom and their guests and family. A wedding is no place for a ‘sermon.’ I’m also sad to read this letter because I thought the Pope’s influence was bringing the Catholic church to be more accepting.

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  139. I love your blog. Your thoughts resonate with mine. Keep on keeping on!

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  140. Your post was very moving. Thank you for sharing the letter.

    Liked by 1 person

  141. Good riddance, as far as your connection to the Catholic church. There are plenty of other more welcoming places. What a horrid experience, but I’ll bet that you all have the family love to edit out that little piece of the day, and remember the celebration that brought you all together!

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  142. beautifully written, thank you for sharing.

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  143. I am so sorry the priest spoiled the wedding in this way. My hubby and I sat through many a jaw-dropping Catholic ceremony as guests and decided for our own wedding to be married by a friend in an outdoor ceremony. Some family were (vocally) upset that we weren’t married “in the church,” but we had a fabulous time and, surprise!, are still married 25 years later when some of them are not.

    So raspberries to anyone who touts empty form over caring substance. And my warmest wishes to the poor bride and groom. There are some lovely, welcoming people of faith — all faiths — out there, and then there are priests like that one.

    Liked by 1 person

  144. The one thing I have learned as a Catholic is that Priests are only men. Not some super power. I am so very sorry that this thoughtless man would use the pulpit to spew diatribes about anyone, especially at a wedding. Pope Francis has certainly made inroads into asking for the Church to be more loving and accepting. I know it will not change its mind about women as Priests, Priests being married or same sex marriage in my lifetime. Because of those hardline stances, people will have to search (like all religious people do) to find a house of worship (and sometimes even a Catholic Church) which more emulates Christ and his teachings. Love, non-judgmental, patient and kind. May you and your husband and family members find that peace in our Lord wherever you can.

    Liked by 3 people

  145. Wonderful post, thank you. This elder straight guy isn’t going back, either.

    Liked by 1 person

  146. Sad and pathetic, indeed. Thanks for sharing this. And congratulations to all of the newly married folks!

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  147. Amazing letter. Should be read by the entire nation!!!

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  148. Thank you for sharing the letter. Sometimes bigotry of all kinds only evaporate when pain is shared through a very personal story. It is easy to be self-righteous about a belief; harder for the bigotry to continue when applied to a specific family or person.

    Liked by 1 person

  149. Wow. Very moving and very sad. I somehow doubt that this letter will have any effect on this sanctimonious priest – but one can hope.

    Liked by 1 person

  150. This letter is powerful, but I wish it were unnecessary. My best wishes to the writer and his family. Thank you for posting.

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  151. Broke my heart. Congratulations to Margaret’s nephew on his marriage. It’s horrid that someone would feel they had the right to usurp a couple’s day of celebration like that.

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  152. I am speechless and I am in tears.

    Liked by 3 people


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