she might

The following is my response to the visual writing prompt at Magpie Tales #59. Go to the site to find the responses of other writers.

she might really be him, you know,
that quirky painter who so loved codes
that he scratched subtle signs
behind and under what you see
so that you can’t see what he really
means unless you look too close,
and, even then, no one knows if
that’s what he meant or if he just
liked to play in a wig and snide smile.

I hereby officially quit Catholicism

According to this site, it is possible to officially quit being a Catholic, despite the fact that Catholics believe there is an indelible mark put on your soul at baptism that identifies you forever as such so that the hereafter knows what to do with you when you get there. Apparently, you just need to make a formal and official statement, called the Actus Formalis Defectionis Ab Ecclesia Catholica, and you will be taken off the list of identified Catholics kept by — hmm. Whom, I wonder?

I just found out about that statement from here, which led me to the official wording of the document here.

I have to admit that it’s hard to totally shake the programming of 13 years of a Catholic education. For example, although I shed the confines of Catholic doctrine decades ago, I still won’t allow myself to put that wafer in my mouth, even though I have since been to many wedding and funeral masses (that’s the only time I go; and only for relatives). I was indoctrinated (through horrific stories of the wafer oozing blood into the recipient’s heathen mouth) with the fundamental feeling that it is a terrible sacrilege for a non-Catholic to receive communion. I don’t know if I sit out the communion line because I refuse to be a hypocrite or because it just doesn’t feel right to go against that old rote rule.

However, having come upon an official way to sever that denominational tie (if not erase that indelible soul mark), I feel that it is time to do just that. So here is my Actus Formalis Defectionis Ab Ecclesia Catholica:


I ___Elaine of Kalilily__, do hereby give formal notice of my defection from the Roman Catholic Church. I want it to be known that I no longer wish to be regarded as a member of the Roman Catholic Church.

I further declare that I am aware of the consequences of this act regarding the reception of the sacraments of the Church, including the sacraments of the Eucharist, marriage and the sick and also with regard to burial.

I undertake to make this decision known to my next of kin and to ensure that they are aware of these circumstances in the case of my being incapacitated.

I acknowledge that I make this declaration under solemn oath, being of sound mind and body, and in the presence of a witness who can testify as to the validity of this document.

Signed:___Elaine of Kalilily______________________ Address:___www.kalilily.net______________________

Witness:____the readers of kalilily.net_____________
Address:____the world-wide web___________________________

Date:____October 23, 2010______________

Now, the instructions say that:

With the above Form, you should include a letter with the following PRINTED information:
Your name,
Your full address,
The name under which you were baptised if married since,
The date of your baptism,
The parish Church of your baptism,
Your date of birth,
The name of your parents, and
The name of your godparents.

Of course I’m not going to put all that information out in public here, but if the ecclesiastic official who needs that information emails me (link to above “About” for address), I will be glad to send him those specifics. (I can use the male pronoun without question here, since we know that, in Catholicism, only males can be ecclesiastic officials.)

While I probably should have been excommunicated a long time ago, given I never got married in a church and then got divorced anyway — and I have proclaimed heresy any number of times and ways — somehow making it official makes it feel like it’s finally official.

Hear Ye! Hear Ye! I am vocally and officially coming out as a big

Since our inner experiences consist of reproductions and combinations of sensory impressions, the concept of a soul without a body seem to me to be empty and devoid of meaning.
— Albert Einstein

What have been [Christianity’s] fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution.
— James Madison

The Christian god can easily be pictured as virtually the same god as the many ancient gods of past civilizations. The Christian god is a three headed monster; cruel, vengeful and capricious. If one wishes to know more of this raging, three headed beast-like god, one only needs to look at the caliber of people who say they serve him. They are always of two classes; fools and hypocrites. To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical.
— Thomas Jefferson

Of all the animosities which have existed among mankind, those which are caused by difference of sentiments in religion appear to be the most inveterate and distressing, and ought most to be deprecated. I was in hopes that the enlightened and liberal policy, which has marked the present age, would at least have reconciled Christians of every denomination so far that we should never again see the religious disputes carried to such a pitch as to endanger the peace of society.
— George Washington, letter to Edward Newenham, October 20, 1792; from George Seldes, ed., The Great Quotations, Secaucus, New Jersey: Citadel Press, 1983, p. 726]

(go here for some of the above quotes and more that show the intent of the founding fathers to ensure both freedom of religion and freedom from religion.)

ADDENDUM: Somehow it seems even more appropriate to post this today, Creation Day!

…the date that James Ussher, Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, determined to be the very first day of creation in 4004 BCE. That makes the world 6013 years old today, in his chronology (if you’re adding it up at home, remember that there is no year 0).

Keep in mind that you now have excuses to party almost all week. Tomorrow, you should celebrate the creation of heaven and Space Water. You knew the earth was a floaty in a watery universe, right? I think the appropriate celebration is to drink.

Monday, you can celebrate Oceans and Plants day. Garden or go to the shore. And drink.

Tuesday is Moon Day. It’s also Sun Day. It took god a few days, but he finally got around to creating the celestial bodies. This should be a day sacred to werewolves and anathema to vampires. Celebrate by voting for Team Jacob. And drinking.

Wednesday is birds and fish day. This is a day of sorrow, because all the cephalopods will be weeping at their neglect — they don’t even get a mention in the book, except for a later declaration that they are generically unclean. Either that or the clueless idjits who wrote the book considered squid to be fish, which is highly offensive. Celebrate by contemplating cephalopods and raising many toasts to them.

Read more here.

the Pakistanis laughed

The Pakistanis laughed. So did “The Bangladeshis. The women with head scarves. The blondes. The Indians. The Palestinians. The Jews.”

It was that kind of night, actually, when for a moment you can believe that all the world’s problems could be solved if everyone would just lighten up a little bit (or a lot) and laugh together, at themselves and at each other. The lineup was packed. It was like there’d been an uprising at The Daily Show and Jon Stewart was stashed in a closet somewhere backstage bound in duct tape.

Go to Meera Subramanian‘s piece at Killing the Buddha and read about the night

Comedian Aasif Mandvi, correspondent for Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, began ….. “Stand Up for Religious Freedom” at Comix on W. 14th Street in New York …… reflecting on things he missed as a kid growing up Muslim. “Santa Claus. Bacon Bits.” (Pause, the critical tool of the comic.) “Seeing my mother’s face.”

Laughter. The best medicine.

almost as immorally nuts as GOPers

I gave up raging over the mess that the GOP so-called “leaders” have been making of my country. It seems like too many of the people on this planet are hell-bent on helping with the demise of sense and sanity.

All of the following are excerpts from this week’s Harper’s Weekly Review, where you can find documentation and a citation for each of these discomfitting reports.

A Walmart in New Jersey asked all black people to leave.

An Ohio man told police that since January he’s been sucker-punching little children at his local Walmart for thrills.

A Kentucky man was charged with wanton endangerment after he got drunk and put his five-week-old son to bed in an oven.

Wachovia Bank was fined $50 million, and required to remit a further $110 million, for laundering funds for Mexican cocaine cartels.

A Swedish report found that the United Arab Emirates is now the fourth-largest importer of weapons in the world.

Dutch officials repudiated a claim by U.S. general and former NATO commander John Sheehan that the gayness of the Dutch army had rendered it unable to defend Srebrenica against the Serbs.

Pope Benedict XVI wrote a letter to Ireland to apologize for the sexual abuse of children by Church leaders.

A lawyer in Oregon was planning to release the Boy Scouts’ “perversion files,” a secret archive of 1,000 documents identifying Scout molesters.

A cable network in North Carolina played two hours of porn on the Kids On Demand channel.

Then there’s the “a little nuts but not immoral” category:

Members of the Winnemem Wintu Indian tribe traveled from California to New Zealand to beg forgiveness of the salmon.

Mexican police were praying to spirits and sacrificing chickens to protect themselves from drug lords.

The Vatican was investigating the daily appearances in Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina, of the Virgin Mary, who is crowned with stars and floats upon a cloud.

Indian politicians wanted to ban both black magic and Lindsay Lohan.

Finally, neither nuts nor immoral, and maybe a good idea — especially since I haven’t been able to wear my removable bridge because my gums are swollen:

A Bavarian baby-food company said it was planning to market its product to adults who dislike chewing.

Makes you just want to break out in song, doesn’t it?

Stop the World I Want to Get Off


Stop the World I Want to Get Off


Stop the World I Want to Get Off

Happy Birthday Millie at 84

If you’re an elderblogger, then you probably know Millie Garfield, of My Mom’s Blog.

Thoroughly Modern Millie is celebrating her 84th birthday by going to the theater to see Jersey Boys.

We’ve been joining to celebrate Millie’s birthday online for the past four years. She became a celebrity among us when her son posted a series of very funny videos in which she starred. You can find them here.

Go there an have a laugh, compliments of Millie, and go to her blog and wish her a happy birthday,

“I can’t not buy those Ferragamos

I’m reading Origins of the Specious and remembering the grammar wars (well, skirmishes, really) that I used to have with (son) b!X back in the old days. I was as adamant about the rules as he was about accepting common usage.

When I taught 8th grade English in the late ’60s, our grammar text book was my bible, and I carried it with me all through graduate school and beyond so make sure that my writing and editing were grammatically “correct.” Now I find out that b!X’s points were the ones I should have been paying attention to.

Like ending a sentence with a preposition (see previous sentence). Or beginning a sentence with a conjunction (note current sentence). And then there’s the split infinitive, as in “to boldly go where no one has gone before.”

I rarely read non-fiction, but this book is as entertaining as any Stephanie Plum adventure, chock full of ear-opening anecdotes that explain where those old grammar rules came from and who were responsible.

Here’s a little sample of Patricia O’Connor’s clever chapter headings and her catchy writing style:

Isn’t it Pedantic?

Quick, what’s the plural of “octopus”? If you think “octopi” is classier than “octopuses,” go stand in the corner…..

We live in a postmodern world, but the Latinists are still among us, especially in academia. They insist on using plurals like “gymnasia,” “syllabi,” and symposia,” even though dictionaries now recognize a preference for Anglicized plurals (“gymnasiums,” “syllabuses,” “symposiums”). There’s pedantry off campus too, of course,. I’ve seen real-estate ads offering “condominia” for sale — to ignormani, no doubt.

As Garrison Keillor notes on the book’s back cover:

It’s right there on page 54: ‘It’s better to be understood than to be correct’ — pull that out the next time somene corrects your grandma. This tour de force of our beautifully corrupted language is both. And dull it ain’t….

And yes, as the title of this posts indicates, sometimes double negatives are what make the point. Never say never.