Tom and Jerry: Defenders of All Things Right and Good

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Offensensitivity (Part II)

In Offensensitivity Part I, I began to detail the ways in which any delicate soul moved by the "spirit of Vatican II" should find "Tom and Jerry" to be the ramblings of two unenlightened feral troglodytes. Thankfully, the "spirit of Vatican II" folks have been busy tinkering with Catholic churches and liturgy to try to help us pre-historic knuckle-draggers toward the path of enlightenment, but Tom and I have been guilty of not clutching every “spirit of Vatican II new Mass” initiative to our bosom with a cocoon-like embrace, as on Sundays we can regularly be found displaying symptoms of….

WITHITT (“Where In The Hell Is The Tabernacle?”-itis)

Used to be that the tabernacle was behind the altar, so you when you went to sit in your pew, you just genuflected in that direction and then knelt in prayer facing it. Apparently, the “spirit of Vatican II” requires that churches built or renovated since then play “Where’s Waldo?” with tabernacle: it’s either way off to one side of the church, or, more commonly in the churches here in Dallas, in a separate room in the back of the church. Now, I walk into church, find a pew, and proceed to genuflect toward…, where, exactly? Left? Right? Behind me? The roof? What exactly is the rationale for moving the tabernacle away from its central spot? I can only wonder. I imagine that the “spirit Of Vatican II” community will take this “Where’s The Tabernacle” game to its next logical step and put theirs in a closet in the basement.

While the tabernacle can eventually be located in most “modern” churches, I soon find myself suffering from....

CD (Crucifix Deprivation)

Go into just about any Catholic Church built before, say, 1960, and hanging over and/or behind the altar will be a crucifix – a powerful scene invoking both the sin of all of us that made Christ’s bloody sacrifice necessary and the even more powerful Love that made the sacrifice possible. It is, quite simply, the event upon which not only our salvation history, but indeed all of human history, turns on. As Fr. Richard John Neuhaus proclaims in his profound and highly recommended “Death on a Friday Afternoon”, “If what Christians say about Good Friday is true, then it is the truth about everything.”

The “spirit of Vatican II”, however, has a different agenda: the crucifix is such a....downer – if thoughts of sin were brought to mind, someone might feel bad about themselves. So what should go in its place? At the parish I grew up in, St. Margaret Mary in Orlando (built in 1968), Christ has his back against the cross and his arms upraised, I suppose to convey His victory over the cross. My mom liked it, and though I prefer the crucifix, I certainly didn’t object to it.

Of course, with this sort of thing, it would be easy to go too far, so the "spirit of Vatican II" folks saw no reason not to. At every Catholic church that I've been to that was built post-1970, they continue to move further toward ridiculousness. A small sampling: At All Saints here in Dallas, Christ is up against a cross (one about ½ the size of one that could actually support Him) with His hands out, arms bent at a 45 degree angle, palms facing up, like the King of Kings wants you lay your hands on His and see if you can pull them away before He slaps them. St. Catherine Seton does away with the cross altogether, and has Jesus against a wall with His arms upraised and His left leg bent and slightly forward: He looks like He’s about to take off from the 3-meter springboard into a 1 ½ twisting somersault with a pike at the World Diving Championships. St. Stephen’s back in Orlando has Jesus suspended in mid-air high above the altar, tilted at a 45 degree angle - all that’s missing is a cape and a big ‘S’ on his chest: “Look, up in the sky, it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s…Saviorman!”. St. Virgil’s in Morris Plains, NJ (my sister’s parish), however, is the worst. A large cloth picture hangs behind the altar, with Jesus standing sideways with his back arm lifted above His head and His front arm out at a 45 degree angle, as if to proclaim “Ta-Da !!”.

Then the music starts, so that I can bear the cross of…

MHF (Marty Haugen Fatigue)

Oh joy, another groovy ditty about banquets, dancing, acceptance, stars, flowers, the moon, whatever....and, of course, Us, Us, Us, wonderful Us!

Here in this place, the catechetically clueless
Meander in from both near and far
To sing hymns recounting our virtues
So the whole world will know just how special we are

Gather us in, the nominally Catholic
Put thoughts of God or sin on the shelf
We are the ones who deserve all the praise here
Join with us now as we worship ourselves!

Of course, we wouldn’t be experiencing the full effects of the “spirit of Vatican II new Mass” without....

LDD (Liturgical Dancer Disgust)

Apparently, one of the chief tenants of the “spirit Of Vatican II” is that for almost 2000 years, the Church Fathers and saints were completely in the dark about the fact that the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass is just not complete without undulating pre-teen nymphs prancing around the altar.

So there you have it. I tried to alert the “spirit Of Vatican II” site to amend our list of offenses to include those mentioned in my last two posts, but they were on their way to “dialogue” with some Call To Action folks, a gay Anglican bishop, a Congregationalist minister, a couple of wiccans and an imam, and then to join hand-in-hand with them around a fire to sing “Kumbaya” while burning copies of Humanae Vitae. I’m sure they’ll get around to amending the list, though....

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Though I've been away from the blog for awhile, getting used to this whole "married" thing, I did notice that Tom and I have received our first banning, though it was only from a tongue-in-cheek site. Though the site that flagged us is a hoot, it does speak to the truth that the orthodox leanings of Tom and I are considered by many “progressive Catholics” – the ones who are prone to blather on about the "spirit of Vatican II" (not to be confused with the actual promulgations of Vatican II) – to be somewhere between merely backward to downright Neanderthal.

Even if the banning was only in jest, I was rather disappointed that the only offenses we were cited for were "C" (clericalism), "R" (Republicanism), and "PH" (Phariseeism). By Clericalism, I suppose, it means that we consider neither most priests nor the magisterium to be a bunch of mouth-breathing morons. The "R" (Republicanism) designation could be considered somewhat accurate, though neither Tom nor I are registered with that party. And by Phariseeism, I’m guessing that it means.....well, I don’t know what that means.

I was outraged. Tom and I are way more objectionable than that.

How could this tolerant, inclusive little enclave of post-Vatican II enlightenment overlook the various medieval, outdated, and thoroughly offensive opinions offered here regularly on “Tom and Jerry”? In short, I am offended at his lack of offense at our offensive offensiveness. Just look at all the additional outrages (with accompanying capital letters) that we should be cited for:

O (Offensive, which the "spirit of Vatican II" folks describe as “anti-womyn, anti-GLBT...”)

How on earth could anyone NOT get their collective panties in a bunch over “Tom and Jerry”’s blatant anti-womyn and anti-GLBT stances? We have definitely earned the anti-womyn designation, as we champion NFP, abhor abortion, and feel no particular outrage that the Church does not ordain females to the priesthood. While we’re definitely pro-women, we’re definitely anti-womyn, given that womyn bear only a slight resemblance to the wonderful creatures known as women. I know that I like women: I married one of them, my sister is one of the finest people on earth, and count many women as close friends. Women combine of the dignity of Jaqueline Onassis, the peaceful touch of Mother Theresa, the charm of Audrey Hepburn, the forgiveness of St. Therese, the concern for men of Florence Nightingale, and the concern for their fellow women of Susan B. Anthony. Womyn, on the other hand, exhibit the dignity of Bill Clinton, the peaceful touch of Lizzie Borden, the grace and charm of Rosie O’Donnell, the forgiveness of Madame DeFarge, the concern for men of Aileen Wuornos, and the concern for their fellow women of the Marquis de Sade.

As for the outrages committed here against the GLBT community, well, we haven’t had that many, but I promise that we’ll work on it. While I don’t bear any ill-will toward any of the folks who identify themselves by that rather unwieldy acronym, I have, however, grown somewhat weary over the fact that, for the last 20 some-odd years, the “love that dare not speak its name” can’t seem to shut up about itself. Anyone who ventures into the waters of modern Western culture is sure to be doused by the veritable tsunami of relentless pro-homosexual propaganda from just about every conceivable media outlet. The message has progressed with great alacrity from one of “encouraging tolerance” to “demanding acceptance” to the “demonization of any non-enthusiastic approval” of these folks and their “lifestyle”. I am sick and damned tired of all the movies, TV shows, talk shows, and print and digital media (and now even elementary school sex-ed programs) proclaiming how wonderful homosexuals are, and how beautiful and normal homosexuality is, and how cruel and bigoted and intolerant it must be not to whole-heartedly approve of homosexuals, and cheer them on, applaud the things they do, and reflexively acquiesce to their every demand. What I find even more disagreeable is the assumption, rapidly becoming universal, that those of us sharing this opinion should keep our mouths shut if we know what's good for us.

Of course, these offenses are exacerbated by our...

OOO (Orifice Oration Opposition)

Neither Tom nor I are all that thrilled that the Vagina Monologues and the Queer Film Festival (“The Anal Articulations”?) are still leaving their trail of slime across the Notre Dame campus. Both the monologuers and the articulators choose to define themselves either through their particular orifice-of-choice (VM) or by their particular use of it (QFF), then hurl epithets at anyone who opposes their rather narrow view of themselves and both man- and womankind. Of course, anyone who objects to these productions is guilty of...

I (Intolerance)

Of course, the “spirit of Vatican II” folks, like all enlightened folks, pride themselves on being supremely tolerant: Everybody has their own truth and everybody’s truth is right. Oh, except the orthodox Catholic one. Being supremely tolerant, the one thing the supremely tolerant cannot tolerate is Catholic orthodoxy, as it, or any notion that there is objective truth, is intolerant. Therefore, they cannot be tolerant of that which is intolerant of the tolerance that they tolerate, nor of the intolerant folks who tolerate the intolerance that the tolerant are intolerant of. Because no rational person could disagree with (or even comprehend) this ethos, Tom and I - and all those who champion orthodoxy - must be intolerant and therefore silenced.

Once silenced, though, our offenses will no doubt continue, even at church. I’ll cover our Sunday offensiveness in "Offensensitivity, Part II" tomorrow...

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Fourth of July

God Bless the U.S.A.

Thanks Anne.