29 March 2009

Yet another reason I'm glad I left the Catholic Church

Once again, I am utterly disgusted by the antics of the Catholic Church. A bishop in Calgary expressed disapproval of a Catholic teachers fundraiser for the Stephen Lewis Foundation, and the Teachers' Federation did the politically expedient (read: cowardly) thing and shut it down.

First of all, who was the asshole parishioner who complained about this to the bishop? Seriously? What kind of asshole bitches to the boss about raising money to help people who are dying from a horrible disease?

Second of all, I am utterly appalled that the bishop would even bother with this. WTF, dude? You'd shut down support to a charity that, "supports community-based organizations that are turning the tide of HIV/AIDS in Africa. They provide care to women who are ill and struggling to survive; assist orphans and other AIDS-affected children; reach heroic grandmothers who almost single-handedly care for their orphan grandchildren; and sustain associations of people living with HIV and AIDS." What part of that didn't you like? I mean, they support abstinence, they just say if you can't be abstinent, use a condom. Oh no, God forbid. I get it, you're abstinent, so you want everyone else to be. No sex for fun!

Finally, does the church not realize that the vast majority of their followers (and I really do think that most people follow their church, not their God, sadly) don't like this kind of crap. It turns people off the church. This kind of thing is one of the reasons I left.

I'm utterly disgusted.

Just to toot the horn of my own church again, our biggest fundraiser of the year is for the SLF and the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign. We're not all evil.

And just so you don't think I use that word lightly, I really do think it is an act of evil to allow and even support the spread of AIDS.

h/t to Lulu at Canadian Cynic

26 March 2009

The church and economic woes

Lorna Dueck of the CBC asks, "Where is the church-led economic recovery?"

Good question. Dueck is quite correct that in the past, the churches did a lot to effect change. So what are they doing now? It sure seems to me, and to a lot of the commenters on CBC (I still can't seem to manage to avoid reading those) that churches seem more worried about what is going on in our bedrooms and our uteruses than they are about social change. But of course, they and I are influenced by what we're hearing in the media. How many of those complainers are church-goers? Very few, I reckon.

The UCC is doing a fair bit. From begging congregations to write the government to ask them to intervene in Africa advocating for cancellation of debt in poor countries. Locally, there are church sponsored soup kitchens and homeless shelters.

But what are we doing on a local level other than charity? I mean, charity is great. But what about people who need a hand before they hit rock bottom? What kinds of programs are there for people who've recently lost their jobs? Are there counseling centres? Are there resources to help people with depression? Are there resources for childcare for people with young children who can't afford babysitters?

I know my church doesn't offer any of these things. Mind you, we are a small, aging church (120 regulars, the vast majority of whom are retired). But there are any number of things we could do to help people. But there seems to be a view in churches (not just mine) that the older folks have done their work, and now the younger people should take over. But when there are no young people coming (except me and another lady), they're going to have to step back to the plate. Besides, how better to get young people to find church relevant than to help them when they need help?

24 March 2009

Random acts of kindness

I'm a big fan of random acts of kindness. Big fan. I'm all hormonal now (thanks baby!), and there's an ad on TV where one person does some little thing for someone else, and someone else entirely sees it, and spreads the happiness by doing something else nice. Well, I tear up half the time I see this stupid ad. (I have no idea what it's for, actually, so whatever they're selling isn't working on me).

Share with me some random acts of kindness you've seen or done lately. I'm always looking for ideas for little things I can do for people.

I'll start: There's a dry cleaner in NYC who offers free dry cleaning to unemployed people who have a job interview. How completely awesome is that?

Little things I do:

  • I carry granola bars when I go downtown. I give them to homeless people who ask for money (and ones who don't). Costs me less than a loonie that I might otherwise give them. I've only once gotten less than a major thank you.

  • I donate money to the United Church's Mission and Service Fund.

  • I got my church to set up a fund for Spread the Net.

  • I do tech support by donation (which means, "for free" :), and when it doesn't, I usually only will take half of what they offer) for seniors, and tell them to give my name to anyone.

It's not much. I really need some inspiration for little things I can do, so share share and share some more!

22 March 2009

Not funny

Ya know, for a liberal feminist Christian, I'm pretty hard to offend. I like off-colour jokes. I have no problem with racist, sexist humour *if* it is done without being actually hateful. Fine line. And not always a clear line at the same place for everyone, so if a joke happens to offend me, I usually don't make a big fuss about it. I might say, "Wow. Offensive" or something like that.

But last night, I watched the Comedy Central Roast of Larry the Cable Guy. Now, I know roasts are supposed to be one insult after another. I'm not stupid. I like insulting comedy. I love a good roast. What I don't like is jokes about pedophilia, spousal abuse, slavery. I mean, c'mon. Suggesting that Warren Sapp's contract included trade for a mule? Cracks about Chris Brown? Suggesting that Foxworthy fucks children? Seriously. WTF? How does anyone find this funny?

Now there were some completely awesome jokes, and I was howling with laughter at most of Maureen McCormick's bit. So I'll probably watch the next roast that comes out too. And I'll probably be offended by about a quarter of it again.

Oh, and a note to all comedians: If the joke bombs, it's because you are not funny. Not because the audience is too "PC". Nick DiPaolo is Not Funny. His jokes were so over the top that people who'd been laughing at jokes about Lisa Lampanelli's vagina (really? that's funny? okay...) just stared at him. And his reaction was to tell them that it was really funny, but they were too stupid or PC to know it.

I think I must be spoiled. The first roast I ever saw was the Friars roast of Johnny Carson. It was hilarious, rude, insulting, and not over my personal line. Of course, the people they had roasting him weren't two bit comedians for whom these roasts are the highlight of their career. Instead, they had his friends and colleagues who could tell funny stories and insult him with class.

Or maybe I'm just getting old. :)

20 March 2009

The Pope's latest bullshit

The Pope has managed to infuriate me once again. I do try to be somewhat respectful to clergy, but that guy has lost any and all of the minimal respect I managed to have for him in the first place. Seriously, wtf? Condoms make the AIDS problem worse?! What kind of ignorant, irresponsible bullshit is this? I wouldn't give a shit if people weren't going to listen to him, but damn it, they are. He's the POPE! What he says is considered the Word of God by Catholics. He's supposedly infallible! And he says things that are going to get people killed by a horrible disease. I really and truly wish I could see what was going on in his head, because I so do not understand how he could do such a thing.

17 March 2009

Random silliness

I've been a little lax in posting lately. Gee, I wonder why! (The baby ate my brain). Honestly, I just haven't been able to give a shit about anything lately. It's probably baby blues, though I haven't been weepy, so who knows. So anyway, I thought I'd post a little bit of silliness. I used to do a bit of stand up comedy WAY back when, and for some reason (which I'm sure you'll see soon), this bit has been in my mind lately. I've edited, as I long since lost all my notes.

I'm not much of a fashion guru. Surprise! I honestly don't give a shit about clothing, other than that it doesn't bind, doesn't gape, and is easy to get off should I need to rush to the bathroom, or get laid in a pinch. But there is one piece of clothing that I find rather fascinating, and quite amusing. Men's ties. What are these things other than giant arrows saying, "Look at my penis! Here it is! Look at it! I have power! I have privilege! LOOK AT IT!" They're like the upper middle class version of the muscle shirt. The "wife beater shirt". The "I'm so fucking privileged, I can wear a shirt that says I beat women" shirt. That's what ties are. Except you don't have to be an asshole to wear one. You just have to work for an asshole.

And women? Women should not wear ties. Honestly, I'm not usually one to say what women should wear, but when your clothing says, "LOOK AT MY PENIS" and you don't have one? What's it saying? "Uh yeah, look here at my... hmmm... my lack of penis." I mean, it's not saying, "Look at my vagina. Look at my clit, all tucked up under here" Entirely too hidden to be shown off. Besides, how fair would that be? We already have something to show off plastered to our chests!

I love breasts. We can feed hungry children with them - c'mon, admit it, that is all sorts of cool. We can show 'em off, and watch the men fall over themselves. We can downplay them, and still watch the men fall over themselves. But men, guys, dudes. Seriously, stop with the "compliments". (No, not all of you, thank God!) Women don't like that. We find it rude. I know, I know, we're "showing them off" so we should naturally want the comments, right? No. Sorry 'bout that. Just chalk it up to yet another thing you don't understand about women. Cuz I promise you, staring and making cracks about the milk jugs just isn't going to get you laid. I mean, you might as well be wearing a muscle shirt at that point!

There was more, but I can't remember it all now. Had to do with breast-obsessed men being like that simply because it was a toy they didn't have, but desperately wanted. It was a longer set, and it usually did pretty well. Doesn't look as funny in writing, alas. Delivery and all that.

Anyway, since starting this, I heard about the Pope's latest bit of ignorant assholery, so I'm sure that the next post will be a little less silly, and a lot more ranty.

13 March 2009

Gratuitous picture post

As promised. A picture of the baby. This is the munchkin at 1 week old. Personally, I think he looks like a little old man. A damned cute one, mind you. :)
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Irony vs. absurdity

Ahh yes, it was irony. Irony is a concept the girl (my daughter, who is still without a good nickname) finds difficult to grok. Alanis Morrissette didn't help, lemme tell ya. Stuck in traffic when you're already late is not ironic unless you're a city planner, and you're on your way to a meeting to tell everyone how you've fixed the traffic problems in your city. That is irony. It's a hard concept. Sometimes I run into something and think "how ironic", but really, it's simply absurd. Like Kathy Shaidle being invited to speak to a Jewish community group. Bwuh? She's one of the most disgusting racists around. Or Bill O'Reilly, speaking to a rape survivors' group. Bill. OdouchebagReilly. "She was 5-foot-2, 105 pounds, wearing a miniskirt and a halter top with a bare midriff. Now, again, there you go. So every predator in the world is gonna pick that up at 2 in the morning." He also called her "moronic". Uh huh. A classic case of blaming the victim, and this SOB is talking to a survivors' group?! I dunno if that's irony, or just plain absurdity.

WTF are people thinking? Oh, right. People. Think. Does not compute.

Thank you!

Wow. Apparently, I'm not getting comment notifications. I popped back on here to post about something I've forgotten now (the baby ate my brain), and I see a whole slew of congratulations. Just for that, I'll post a picture or two. Because you know, everyone wants to see your baby pictures. ;)

He's a good baby, and by that I mean, he lets me sleep regularly. His autistic big brother (3) is handling the transition rather well, all things considered. And his big sister (14) is well, a teenager. She's happy to hold him when he's quiet, and hand him off when he's not. Typical, eh?

I need nicknames for these kids, because damned if I'm going to give their real ones, and initials just don't do it for me. Ideas?

Now, off to try to remember what I was going to write about in the first place!

08 March 2009

I'm back. And with baby!

I'm home from the hospital. Actually, I was home a few days ago, but well, let's just say new babies are more fun than blogging. And c-section pain is hard to handle when sitting up.

I hate hospitals. This is the biggest reason I came home on Thursday after a Tuesday c-section. I hate them with an almighty passion. I gotta say though, my nurses, by and large, were AWESOME. Especially considering the workload in there. It's insane!

My biggest beef: The ward is simply too small. There are not enough rooms for all the women. So they double you up with a roommate. But, should you have a roommate, your partner cannot stay for the night. Um, wtf? So, if my partner can't stay, how am I supposed to look after the baby when I can barely get out of bed on my own and I'm trying to recover from major surgery? Oh, well, you're supposed to call a nurse. They are so overworked as it is. My husband was doing everything for me, from fetching the cell phone, or a cup of juice to bringing me the baby and then putting him back in the bassinet. Plus, he was bringing me all my food because the hospital cannot accommodate my diet. And I'm supposed to just deal without him? Seriously? I think the fuck not. Of course, if I were willing to pay $190/night, I could have a private room (assuming one was available, which it wasn't). So if you're rich, you can have the support of your husband or partner. Otherwise, tfb. Fortunately, I didn't end up with a roommate either of the two (three if you include the night before the surgery) nights I was there. Thanks be!

This is the state of healthcare. Women having babies are denied the support of their partners because there isn't enough room for them.

I shall have to remember to talk about how our bodies are treated, and how hard that must be for some people. Me, I don't care much. Dignity? Hell, I lost that a long time ago. Though I gotta say, the nurse that pushed my hand out of the way of my breast so that she could grab it and stuff it into my baby's mouth? She nearly got my fist in her face.

02 March 2009

All Systems are GO!

I'm heading into the hospital tonight. Baby will be born tomorrow morning at about 8am if all goes well. And it had better!

Will be on hiatus for at least a week, as the stupid hospital doesn't have an internet connection. If possible, I may get my daughter to post an update before that. If not, see you in a week or so.

Wish me luck! Or pray. Or whatever. Just send me good thoughts tomorrow morning at 0750 PST.

They like me! They really like me!

Or accept me, anyway, which is just as good. :)

Got an email today saying that this blog has been approved, and I am now an "affiliate" of the progressive bloggers. Woo! Thanks, moderators. I'll get that banner up ASAP.