Monday, December 7, 2009

I'm the Idiot of the Day and it's not Even Friday!

Wow. Okay, I'm an idiot. Seventeen months of sleep deprivation have gotten to me and my quickly typing nap-time fingers somehow typed Ken instead of Kevin Jennings on my last post. I'll give myself a Sadie Frown. As so many of you (thank you, thank you, thank you) pointed out Kevin Jennings is the psycho school czar and Ken Jennings is the genius Jeopardy guy (and since the whole family loves Jeopardy I am doubly humbled).

If you read this Ken (or you have access to the message board on his site, because I was going to leave a message but it said, very understandably that I'd been banned) I'm sorry! I'm usually careful about checking names and double checking, but apparently my pregnant, toddler chasing brain is much these days.

Well this will definitely cause me to quadruple check when I'm typing in the future.

Again, sorry Ken. Mea culpa.


  1. Banned? Wow! I'm jealous. I had always wanted to go to banned camp. haha

  2. LOL!! Sorry, I know just how you feel. Although I don't have the rambunctious toddler, I have huge baby boy kicking and moving around at all hours of the night in my womb. So I totally get the lack of sleep thing. My spelling is so bad these days that I've just given up and given in. I even mispell words that I know are so simple to spell. And don't even get me started on sentence structure. You're writing totally looks better than mine even with the name slip up.

    I'm sure if Ken Jennings had actually read your blog he would have noticed who you were really meaning and would have laughed and understood too. He has two children himself.

    Don't sweat it. You don't deserve a Sadie frown. You deserve a hug. All moms do when they make goofs.

  3. Oh thank you Delta Flute! When I saw I had 1 comment on my blogger dashboard I thought "please let it be nice, please let it be nice!" I was so embarrassed when I realized the mistake and saw it on Ken's website after suddenly getting 300 hits on my blog...(which Paul thinks is pretty funny... he thought I should have started the blog with "why I'll never be on jeopardy"). And your comment made me smile!

    I remember those third trimester pregnancy days. Yikes! Getting up every half hour was so miserable! I went from thinking "I could be pregnant forever" during the second trimester to "I want to have this baby now" during the third. Hang in there! You're in the home stretch!

    Thanks again!

  4. You are now famous!!!

    Though I know you must have been horrified, it is really funny - or at least you will think so down the line a bit. Marie

  5. Hi Marie-

    Paul's helping me see the humor in it by chuckling every now and then about it. Once I posted the correction I started to see the humor in it a bit more!

  6. I find it interesting that you blame your little mix-up on sleep deprivation and hormones...the connection between which (and your implied lack of concentration) being supported by scientific inquiry, i.e. systematic empirical observation...and yet, when it comes to god, you throw out the validity of this observational validity. Why not attribute your slip to god? Why is science good enough for your excuses, but not for your beliefs?

  7. Hi Anonymous @ 1:07,

    I see no conflict between God and science. I loved biological anthropology in college.

    And having observed God's grand work on a day to day basis (and on one rare miraculous occasion) as well as in my own conversion, I'm not sure what imagined "observational validity" you're talking about. I will pray for you though.

    You don't sound very happy. I pray you find true happiness in God's wonderful forgiveness. It's not out there in the world.

    God Bless.

  8. Hi Cam -

    Some certainly don't see a conflict, that's for sure!

    Are you saying god's wonderful forgiveness is not out there in the world? Or that true happiness is not out there? Why are you so critical of god's world?

    When you say "I'm not sure what imagined 'observational validity' you are talking about," you sound passive-aggressive. Maybe you're not very happy...

  9. Hi Anon @ 3:25-

    God's forgiveness is all around us, just waiting for us to accept it. We have been given a choice. We still have to make the choice (although God's mercy works in amazing and mysterious ways and I'm not even going to pretend to understand every way in which forgiveness and reconciliation might be granted).

    And there is certainly true happiness, found in the soul's fulfillment as it seeks it's creator. I felt a great many things before I found my way home to the Church. Some were very close to happiness and I certainly would have called them happiness at the time. Comparing them to the feeling of joy I have in God, would be like comparing a small candle to the sun.

    When I said "world" as in "it's not out there in the world" I meant "worldly" as in in our secular, materialistic culture that seeks to buy an artificial form of fulfillment. No I don't think you'll find either happiness or forgiveness is worldly pursuits. In the literal sense God's forgiveness is in this world, because we are in this world and he forgives us. Just wanted to clarify.

    And I have to say I was genuinely confused when I wrote the quote that you find to sound "passive aggressive." I guess I just don't see the same conflict you do between science and God.

    I do wonder if you read the links to the original articles. I'd be honestly surprised if anyone thought that the thirteen books they took excerpts from were appropriate for seventh graders. I would have the same problem with it if the graphic descriptions were of men and women. I don't understand the need to force seventh graders to view, what is, by even our secular cultures standards, pornography, heterosexual or homosexual. Let's let kids be kids.

    Let's see, what have I left out... back to the passive aggressive thing. I'm not a saint. I'm most definitely still a work in progress. And no I don't love the recent influx of hate mail (although the 5 to 1 positive to negative ratio I'd guess I'm at is still good) from people calling me names (thank you! you didn't call me an idiot, freak, ect). So you probably rightly read a little annoyance into my response. As much as I try to keep my eyes fixed on heaven, my life is very much still in this world.

    Lastly, your last sentence: Am I happy? Much happier than I was before I found God's love in my life. There is a peace I could not have imagined before. I still have my moments, at nine weeks pregnant I'm working very hard a lot of the time on not throwing up and that doesn't make me happy at all, but the moment to moment discomforts of life even become more meaningful when you can offer them up. Then again, I'm not going to pretend it's about happiness, because I understand quite fully that suffering is a big part of our existence here. Rejecting that would be lying to myself.

    I will keep you in my prayers! I hope these answers helped you understand where I'm coming from a little, although I'm fairly certain that we won't agree on many things.

    God Bless.

  10. Hi Cam - no, I don't call names, and you're right, we don't agree on many things.

    The major difference between someone with your beliefs and someone with mine is this: you think you know. This allows you to be judgmental, as in you know what "true" happiness is, and think that others who don't believe in things with no evidence "don't know."

    How would you know? You seem eager to tell people that they are unhappy...why add that condescending bit? It comes from a place in you that thinks you have the ultimate answers to things, based on a chain of assumptions that, should they have been applied to anything else, would be dismissed as lunacy.

    You seem to be the type, at least on the surface, that tries to do good and get along with people, and keep your judgmentalism and condescension in check - I'm not interested in making you feel badly, and should you be able, would continue to talk civilly with you.

    However, I truly think the beliefs you have are harmful...harmful to your children, harmful to society, harmful for our species. You are advocating "belief without proof" which has so many terrible ramifications that one is staggered under the weight of it.

    In addition, the beliefs you have are hypocritical - that is, in order to believe what you do, you have to spend a lot of time weaseling out of one argument and into another - you seperate yourself from so many sects and historical underpinnings of your religion to maintain a made-up religion that suits your needs. The bible abounds with atrocities, inaccuracies, and inconsistencies, yet you throw these out and still think of it as a supernatural message. You want to distance yourself from fundamentalist extremesists who blow things up, but still maintain you have corner on "the Truth." Just like them.

    What you're missing is: believing you have the Truth is the problem.

    One can delude themselves into thinking whatever they want, and convince themselves they are joyous and happy. But the opinion that this is THE way to self-fulfillment, and that others have a watered-down version of it (ray of light to the sun, I believe you said?) is absolutely the root of all evil. That YOU are the holder of the Truth, and others are not.

    There are and were thousands and thousands of religions, some mutated, some were forgotten..and you believe YOU have the right one. Can you fathom the hubris of this?

    I, like you, know in my heart that there's nothing I can say that will change your mind...that's part of the syndrome (on purpose, by those who benefit from it). And since I wouldn't say "I will pray for you," but still would like to extend the same sentiment you did for me, I guess I'll say, "I'll send good reasoning skills your way, metaphorically."

  11. Hi Anon-
    You have made two major misjudgments in your analysis of me (easy enough to do when you only have an online conversation and a little knowledge of a person). With my past I am in no position to judge anyone. I have done truly awful things, and maybe that is why I am truly grateful for God's forgiveness.

    As I said above, I can't begin to fathom all the ways that His forgiveness works. I also can't begin to fathom all the ways that he reveals himself to man and all the chances that he gives us, again and again to repent. That is the second misjudgment. I wouldn't tell another person their religion is wrong (the difference between evangelizing and prostelytizing (pardon the spelling I'm in a hurry and have to run) but I do believe that I have found the fullness of truth in the Catholic Church. Others are free to dispute this. I do believe I have found the truth and from what I have seen and felt I have evidence that this true. I know that's hard for someone who doesn't believe in God to understand (at least that's the impression I get from your comments) but it's true. I used to believe in nothing at all. It took a lot to change that. I DO believe there are many paths to God's mercy.

    Many men and women have done evil in the name of religion. I don't deny that. It is because we're human. The best we can do is strive towards God.

    Thanks for your good thoughts. I'll keep up with the prayers.

    God Bless.

  12. Oh, one more thing. No one's misery makes me joyful. I wish we lived in a perfect world, but that's not for this life.

    ..However, having gone from one extreme to the other, if someone comes on my blog and begins attacking my beliefs, and seems unhappy (maybe I misread the condescension in your first post, and if I did, I'm sorry) I will point out that there's a different way. I will point out that they seem unhappy and are just trying to inflict their unhappiness on others.

    Finding truth in this world may not be easy, it may involve suffering, but in my experience (and you are on my blog!) it is absolutely worth it.

    No, I don't delight in the pain of others. I've seen enough of that part of the world and wouldn't wish it on others.

    Your post struck me as a very shallow, stereotypical view of Christianity.

    You think that I am something and I'm sure I can't convince you that I am anything else. At this point, with all that's going on in my life, trying to do so would be a waste of time for both of us.

    I wish you well.

    God's Peace.

  13. Hey Anonamouth,

    In what way have you ever seen A Woman's Place Is denying anything about the supposed past of Catholicism? In what way did you offer proof of the negation of Catholicism by science? You object to the use of the bible, but you've shown no indication whatsoever that you even know how it came together and was composed. Could you even tell us how many books are in the bible and what ecumenical councils are instrumental in obtaining its canon? You've clearly done no research on Catholicism and know nothing about it at all.

    The only question that leaves me with is this; if you don't understand us at all and can't see one inch beyond yourself, why should anyone take you seriously?

  14. Should I take the comment:

    "...At this point, with all that's going on in my life, trying to do so would be a waste of time for both of us."

    As "I'm not going to allow your posts through anymore"? If so, I won't bother responding.

  15. At this point I publish all the posts that aren't down right derogatory and since you aren't name-calling I'll post them. I meant that there's a good chance I won't respond since I don't think we're getting anywhere at all. My other readers might respond, that tends to happen when I don't.

  16. Ok, then I'll respond.

    You say I have made two misjudgments of you, 1) that you are not judgmental, and 2)that you wouldn't say someone's religion is wrong.

    Here's how those two statements are not, in fact, misjudgments and indeed correct:

    By saying that you are privy to The Truth, you are implicitly saying that others, who don't share your beliefs, are wrong.

    In fact, you say it strongly, for if they were NOT wrong, then YOU would be wrong, for these beliefs are mutually exclusive. Either you are right or you are wrong, and you are saying you are right. The only other option is "Everyone is right" which continues to skirt the issue...why have doctrine at all if it's all right?

    I'm not sure where you get the notion that I think someone's misery makes you joyful. I don't know if it does or doesn't, and wouldn't accuse you of that unless I knew. Again, YOUR world view allows you to assert whatever you want, whether or not it breaks logic or nature. Mine doesn't.

    In addition, your world view allows you to "not know" things. You embrace the "fact" that you can't fathom the way things work (god, in this case), which allows you a pass on struggling to learn. A big difference between religious and scientific thought is just this: one accepts not-knowing and one doesn't.

    Saying to me "your post struck me...shallow.." is a red herring - either you believe ridiculous things or you don't. Your religion is not some deep and mysterious thing that takes "depth" to understand. Implying it does is shallow, really, because it stops conversation.

    Also, I don't "believe [you] are something" - I believe you believe some things. This actually sounded very sad to me - I'm not judging you as a person in the slightest, just your unfounded beliefs.

    From discussions such as these in the past, I know that challenging your beliefs can be very threatening, because, I believe, you have a place in you that sees the inconsistency between real life, its causes and effects, and the logic-free compartment you keep your religion in. I wouldn't expect you to admit this, because, by definition, it demands a major amount of cognitive effort to continue to make the pieces fit. You need to constantly be "interpreting" things a certain way in order to maintain the facade.

    "Anonamouth" - heh. As if creating a profile name makes any difference to what I'm saying. Funny word, though.

    I'll skip your confusing wordsmithing and answer your comment - that old hackneyed chestnut "science doesn't disprove religion." This reveals a deep misunderstanding of science, and we'll just skip to the punchline: scientific inquiry is not in the business of addressing statements with no evidence. It is YOU who are asserting that there is this supreme magical being that controls the stars and rewards and punishes humans, so it is YOU that must provide evidence. If you can't, then science has nothing to say about it. This fact is constantly taken as some sort of evidence to the contrary, which is absurd; that is, because religion offers no evidence it is untestable - that does not makes it true, likely, or valid even one iota.

    The existence of god is in the same category as anything else that is made-up and untestable...the idea that christianity is somehow "right" is just as "right" as the flying spaghetti monster, the teapot of space, Santa Claus, according to science. Science can't disprove that there aren't invisible, intangible vampires in this room right now, that secretly control your that is as likely as the existence of god too.

    Your other point, which boils down to "you don't know!" is irrelevant. If I proved that I am more versed in the bible than you, would it make any difference? Of course not.

    You don't sound very happy.

  17. Anonamouth,

    Your ignorance is astounding! For giving me such a laugh I could hug you. I will respond for Cam because I am not sure she is going to comment. The core of your argument is to state the obvious and make it sound as if brilliantly deducted a complex enigma. Kudos!

    There is a slight problem, however. Your logic is totally flawed and knowledge of Catholicism is practically non-existent. You might know that Catholic's have something called the "Pope" in Rome, are supposed to go to Mass and are the largest Christian denomination. Yet, when it really comes down to big questions such as: “How does Catholicism view ecumenical relations? How do they interpret the Bible? Is priestly abstinence a discipline or mandated in the Bible?” you find yourself at a loss to understand or answer these questions. To illustrate this you said: "By saying that you are privy to The Truth, you are implicitly saying that others, who don't share your beliefs, are wrong. " That is completely inaccurate of the Catholic position! Catholics hold that there is Truth and something of value in every religion. Catholicism does not rule out all the truth claims of other religions. Some they accept as being valid and true. IE those of which are valid and true beliefs. It only rejects those of which are incorrect. Therefore, in every religion, there is some element of truth to it. To portray the issue as being either black or white is to be inherently wrong in your analysis and this flaw needs to be worked on for anyone to take you seriously on this blog.

    Secondly, by trying to point out your relativistic claims that no one can have any truth you fall into the trap of bourgeois relativism. Science has proven that there is such a notion as the truth. That claim can be made. Yet, when it comes to religion you have claimed a sort of relativism that is baffling. To claim that there can be truth in all other aspects of life, but not in faith is a weak claim with no foundation. Arguing that there is no God, and if God did exist then your brand of religion couldn't possibly have access to truth claims is a contradiction in rationale. It is a contradiction because you claim to believe in a quantitative truth that can be proven with rational thought, yet when allowing the possibility for God to exist you throw out all rationality and say then that all claims of truth do not need to be verified. All is true. Why? Why claim this position? Why not accept the possibility that there can be a rational God and religion if you are to accept the possibility that there is a God? The truth here is that you are not allowing this possibility, and because you are not allowing for this possibility your relativistic arguments against any concrete faith are meaningless and invalid. Being the rational person that you are you should have seen this right away. Failing to have done so makes it clear that you have failed to think out your position fully. That is your second error.

  18. Thirdly, a final note about your conversation with Cam. To quote you again:

    "Again, YOUR world view allows you to assert whatever you want, whether or not it breaks logic or nature. Mine doesn't. In addition, your world view allows you to "not know" things."

    A few things are prominent here. You spell "YOUR" in all caps to further emphasis that Cam is wrong. Who are you trying to convince? That you need to point a proverbial finger while typing indicates that you are angry and accusatory. It is as if you are angry because you wanted to believe in God and when you "found out" he did not exist you were shaken. Shaken and hurt by betrayal and sadness that he did not exist. The God you longed for and still do does not exist. As a result, you even had to go so far as to drop the capitalization of the letter "G" in God. That is how much the God whom you loved has hurt you by not existing. And it is why you, whom are hurt by this lack in your life, must attack others with faith and troll around in the Internet to stop these believer's terrible lies. Don't you people know this is all a scam?! A hoax!?! None of this is real! God is not real! Marx says so! I don't want you to be hurt like I was, and so I'm going to warn you! I'm going to argue with you! I'm going to make you see he isn't real! So that you can know and be free!

    But the problem is that you don't know. For all your claims of knowledge and your evident embrace of science you have not offered one single shred of proof. Anonamouth you were merely trying to replace the hole in your heart that is for God with science. You have failed to even give us an example of how Catholicism is even erroneous, let alone why God doesn't exist. It's no wonder why Cam probably won't respond. To respond to an argument you must have one to begin with.

    I'll answer you're objections to my post below.

  19. Anonamouth,

    Your arguments are just as flawed in arguing against me as they were arguing against Cam. You go on to state “that old hackneyed chestnut "science doesn't disprove religion." This reveals a deep misunderstanding of science,” blah blah blah. True science does not disprove God. It cannot do so, for God is the ultimate truth. That being understood, God stands outside of creation and time. He does not fall victim to pathetic attempts to relegate him to some sort of atheistically contrived notion of the past; namely that he was merely created by man to be a comfort to them. He cannot be stuffed into a beaker, nor dissected and analyzed at a lab in Berkley. He is outside of creation.

    The best and only way to understand God is to understand him through his creations and revelations. The creations of God are the universe and everything in it. By studying this “keyhole” and its shape we should be able to understand something about the “key” (Rahner). In this way can science lead us to a better understanding of God. The revelation of God is ultimately Jesus Christ’s incarnation as the Son of God. Other lesser forms of revelation are the Bible, Tradition, Magisterium, and then eventually personal revelation when it happens. The Bible, Tradition and the Magisterium are all public revelations and can be studied rationally. Jesus is the ultimate revelation and is best studied by following Orthodoxy and Orthopraxis. Personal revelation, if you are fortunate to receive it, is God’s way of building and leading you to more faith. Unless this happens to you personally you are unlikely to ever be able to study it. Given that there are ways in which to know God, it is possible to rationally come to the conclusion that God does exist. Your personal method would most likely dismiss revelation and just stick with creation. In this creation you are unlikely to ever come up with anything that concretely confirms God’s existence. Though you most certainly will never come up with anything that will negate his existence either. Therefore, you, to be a true man of science, would have to study and endeavor into revelation.

  20. There in lies the burden of proof. You mistakenly claim that I have to prove God’s existence. This is a false notion. I do not. For this conversation to work you have to disprove his existence. You came onto a Catholic website to be a troll and lament the loss of the God whom you still unknowingly seek. Therefore to deny the responsibility to actually disprove God’s existence is intellectual laziness and failed rationale. Historically speaking faith in God is older than atheism. As such, the burden of proof lies with you. Go ahead mouth! Have at it. Flounder about in your ineptness trying to discredit God.

    Finally you seek to backtrack and push aside the embarrassing little mistake of your ignorance of our faith. By claiming your ignorance of Catholicism is inconsequential you err. Anonamouth, you directly attacked our faith and did so without any proof or real tangible arguments. It shows the readers that you are already mistaken in your previous attacks on the faith. It shows your deficit in logical aptness and screams of your failure to provide an intelligent response to our critique of your attacks on our faith. When you said, “Your other point, which boils down to "you don't know!" is irrelevant” it is an admission that would have been better phrased, as “I don’t know you!” That would have more accurate and truthful. You clearly don’t know us, nor understand us.

    Therefore, this is my invitation to you Anonamouth to get to know us. I offer genuine friendship to you if you are willing accept it. I challenge you to step into the realm of revelation. Get to know us. It’s not that hard. At the very least in the end if you don’t agree with us you can then disagree intelligently. Honestly, seeing you in action here is like watching a bear cub trying to play with a kick ball; slow and witless!

    Take care, Buddy.

  21. Dear Thomist, Hi there! It is about time you have something to say around here. :)

    As much as I'm sure I like you, please bear with me as I feel compelled to call you out on a point of charity. Calling someone "slow & witless" hardly fosters the calm environment necessary for intelligent discussion, nor will it encourage others to "want" to get to know us.

    Just take me for an example. Admittedly, I am cute, cuddly & likable as a bear cub. I am also often slow in thinking, and there are those of my acquaintance who would call me witless. But to make these aspersions in a public forum would not engender my friendship, let alone respect.

    As your brother in Christ, I ask you to reflect on this and pray that "AnonyMOUS" will return, forgive us our trespasses, and continue the discussion.

    Thank you & God bless.

  22. Hey Cliff,

    Saying that someone is acting "slow and witless" is not the same as calling them "slow and witless" In this case Anonamouth is acting slow and witless. I am not saying that he is literally slow and witless, just that he is acting that way.

    I also have no compunction against calling him Anonamouth because he also seems to like it. Though if he were to ask me to call him by another name I would most likely do that.

    Anonamouth is a big boy and can handle the typical banter that goes back and forth in these sorts of conversations. To him whom engages in this sort of activity regularly, and I have no doubt that this is not the first website he has stumbled across and decided to write into, a conversation of this sort does has a grudging sort of charity (which in reality is superfluous). Had the situation not required it, I would not have used it. Anonamouth got exactly what he was hoping to when he came here and hopefully, if he takes our invitation, he can leave with something more. In all seriousness the invitation was real.

    Knowing Anonamouth and what he is about is the key to helping him.

    God Bless,

  23. Greetings Thomist, Give yourself another 20 years or so, and you may see all this differently. You will find that age & experience usually wins out over youthful enthusiasm.

    BTW - have you ever met John Glenn?


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