1964 epiphany: The day the curtain pulled back

The scales fell from my eyes one day when I was twelve years old, as I looked away from the priest, scanned the appalled faces of the girls seated around me and thought, “Oh, I don’t think so.”

The wisdom I acquired that day didn’t arise from scripture, or from a priest or nun. My moment of awakening, my perverse epiphany, occurred because a girl in my Catholic Confirmation class, Sharon Mahoney, did something that required considerable bravery.

The result was a Wizard-of-Oz moment that changed everything.

We had been behaving ourselves, listening to what Father Mackin had to say about our upcoming Confirmation. The girls in this class of seventh-graders had been obedient for some time, showing up for these preparation classes, nodding in agreement with whatever the priest told us. And since, back then, we knew we’d be headed straight to hell if we missed Sunday Mass, we all showed up for that every week, too.

If there were any questions or doubts, I never heard them. It was 1964, and any challenges to Church authority were subtle or nonexistent.

In second grade, preparing for our First Holy Communion, we were told that the host literally becomes the flesh of Jesus Christ, and that the wine becomes his blood, for real. We listened, we internalized that belief, with scarcely a thought about how utterly bizarre it would be to consume human flesh and blood. It was true because the priest said it was true. Good enough for us. (The obvious conclusion, that we were engaging in cannibalism, never occurred to us.)

And then there was that Saturday morning Confirmation class. The girls were separated from the boys for these classes. (We never questioned that, either.) Father Mackin was telling the girls what paths in life are acceptable in the eyes of God. He said we had just two career choices, as we approached womanhood: We could be mothers, or we could be nuns.

Dolt that I was, I was passively taking all this in, mentally checking off the “mother” box.

That’s when Sharon Mahoney raised her hand and begged to differ.

Bear in mind that Father Mackin was a formidable presence at St. Thomas of Villanova. Rotund, with a few strands of white hair combed over the top of his head, Father Mackin could command everyone’s attention with his fire-and-brimstone sermons. His face often turned totally red in the passion of the pulpit.

I can recall, through the years, hearing in his sermons three different ways that his Aunt Minnie died. One involved drowning, and being found with the imprint of her rosary’s crucifix in the palm of her hand. Poor Aunt Minnie also perished in a fire and in a car accident. In all three scenarios, Minnie was headed for glory, because she died wearing her devotional scapular.

Father Mackin represented the hand of God in our parish, and to cross him was unthinkable. You can bet that no one ever called him on his Aunt Minnie’s multiple deaths.

On that warm spring day we sat in Villanova Hall, in our metal folding chairs on the scratched oak floor, with the French doors behind Father Mackin– doors that led to the inner hall, where we couldn’t wait to attend CYO dances once we entered high school. Even now, decades later, I can close my eyes and inhabit that scene.

Father Mackin had just given us our two acceptable career paths when Sharon slowly raised her hand.

“But, Father, I don’t think that’s right. I’ve heard about women who don’t have children, and they aren’t nuns. Women who go to Africa and help sick children, and bring food to hungry people there. There’s nothing wrong with that. Nothing wrong with living a good life and helping people. We don’t have to be just a mother or a nun. I don’t believe that.”

I held my breath and waited for the verbal torrent that would surely follow.

Without a trace of anger, Father Mackin slowly shook his head and told Sharon she was mistaken. Nun or mother. Those are the choices. No rage. Merely dismissal.

Suddenly, we were glancing around the room, each of us wondering whether we were the only one who was incensed by this. Had we dared, I suspect we all would have muttered something along the lines of “What a crock.”

And if the specified career paths for women were ridiculous, what else about the Church was ridiculous? Well, being tortured in hell for all eternity for skipping Mass and not being sorry about it – that suddenly qualified for the “ridiculous” list.

This moment marked the end of my life as a hook-line-and-sinker Catholic. Revisionist thoughts raced through my mind as I realized God had given me a brain with which to decide what is real, and what is a crock.

From that moment on, I saw the Catholic Church as, essentially, a men’s club, where any rules they dreamed up did not apply to me.

Nevertheless, I still wanted to please my parents (it was, after all, 1964), so I wore the red beanie and long white robe, along with my classmates, and accepted the oil cross on my forehead and the bishop’s hand on my cheek.

The Catholic Church could technically count me as part of their flock for a few decades after my epiphany, because I was married in the Church (by Father Mackin) and we raised our kids as Catholics.

But if the truth be told, from the moment Sharon Mahoney made her declaration, my heart was no longer in it. I knew that I was free to decide, without penalty of eternal damnation, how to live my life.

The Church was suddenly superfluous in my life, and Father Mackin now appeared to be about as powerful as the Wizard of Oz, frantically manipulating the controls to the smoke and illusion from behind his curtain.

Once that curtain is pulled back, it’s over.
~
Janis Jaquith writes for (but doesn't have a face for) radio.

Read more on: catholic church

81 comments

In 1998 I attended my confirmation. The classes and discussions were much more open to discussion, although not much more accepting. In the end I was thankful for that rite of passage that helped me confirm my faith whether it agreed with theirs or not.

You were always free to decide, God gives us that. The shame is you don't believe that your decisions can lead to eternal damnation.

There is no shame in recognizing fairy tales for what they are. Really, It's simply amazing to me that a weird Roman cult obsessed with blood and sex still manages to have a hold over anyone. The Catholic Church is so corrupt at the top that a few high ranking Vatican insiders are leaking secrets to the press in a desperate attempt to clean things up. Despite that and the now confirmed truth of all of those old pedophile priest jokes, some folks still want to hand their money and control over their lives to a bunch of doddering, out of touch, old farts half a world away. Now that IS something to be ashamed of.

Jesus, by example, would not have wanted any of us to practice cannibalism, or extortion, for that matter. Baptism, or communion, or tithing does not bring salvation. Christ made grace and mercy and salvation so very simple, that many persons have a difficult time accepting it. Other so-called religions that practice tyranny and abuse and preach hatred and death, judgementalism and condemnation, are not of God.

Purgatory was invented by the Catholic Church to extort money from its parishioners for cathedrals and opulent lifestyles, and, sadly and evidently, child abuse.

Matthew 22:34-40
34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" 37 Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

also...

James 1:22-27 (New International Version)

22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it--he will be blessed in what he does. 26 If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."

It is not about mega-churches or empire-building. It is about caring for fellow humankind. That's why we are here.

That's the bottom line. God will sort it out in His own due time.

This poem sums up why I turned from religion first, then the fairy tale of god.

Ode To The God Of Atheists

ELLEN BASS

The god of atheists won’t burn you at the stake
or pry off your fingernails. Nor will it make you
bow or beg, rake your skin with thorns,
or buy gold leaf and stained glass windows.
It won’t insist you fast or twist
the shape of your sexual hunger.
There are no wars fought for it, no women stoned for it.
You don’t have to veil your face for it
or bloody your knees.
You don’t have to sing.

The plums that bloom extravagantly,
the dolphin that stitch sky to sea,
each pebble and fern, pond and fish
are yours whether or not you believe.

When fog is ripped away
just as a rust red thumb slides across the moon,
the god of atheists isn’t rewarding you
for waking up in the middle of the night
and shivering barefoot in the field.

This god is not moved by musk
of incense or bowls of oranges,
the mask brushed in cochineal,
polished rib of the lion.
Eat the macerated leaves
of the sacred plant. Dance
till the stars blur to a spangly river.
Rain, if it comes, will come.
This god loves the virus as much as the child.
From: The Sun, issue 400, April 2009

A recovering Catholic. That explains a lot.

In the movie The Matrix when the agent had Morpheus in custody the agent stated, “Billions of people just living out their lives, oblivious.” In many ways it was not just a statement about the people caught in the movie Matrix, but a statement to subtly rub humanities face in the totality of the numerous mind traps they are caught in like religion.

Janis, what a refreshing article to read about someone seeing through the veil and having the backbone to write about the experience.

I changed one word so it fits even better!

In the movie The Matrix when the agent had Morpheus in custody the agent stated, “Billions of people just living out their lives, oblivious.” In many ways it was not just a statement about the people caught in the movie Matrix, but a statement to subtly rub humanities face in the totality of the numerous mind traps they are caught in like Democrats.

Thank you Janis! The Roman Catholic Church is just so much hocus-pocus dominocus. And the ritualized cannibalism, don't that just beat all?

Blow out the candles, throw down the rosaries, slam the church door and say "Amen" somebody.

Just my two cents - an observation I've made is that many people who suddenly see through the "matrix control system" with regards to religion often times make the mistake of throwing the entire baby out with the bathwater. They become hardcore atheists who many times make it their mission to attack anybody who would dare express spiritual ideals. As if you can only swing between two extreme black and white polar opposite dichotomies: Gullible sheep who believes the fire and brimstone religious rhetoric, or, hardcore scoffing, mocking, disdainful atheist. (and before atheists get on here and pounce all over me for stereotyping, I fully acknowledge that I'm using generalizations, but it's to illustrate a point.)

One can find the middle ground. There are core bits of truth to be found in all religions, underneath the nefarious distortions that have been tacked on. But it requires taking the time to pick and sift to find those core bits of truth, which a lot of people don't want to bother with.

The two extremes of gullible, fear-based religious sheep and spiritless atheist are two sides of the same coin, and both are the lazy man's way out.

(btw, my comments wasn't directed to the author of the article, as she never mentioned becoming an atheist as a result of seeing behind the curtain. I'm just putting it out there.)

Raised Catholic, my epiphany came when posing a probing question in Confraternity class and being slapped by the teacher. I was 12 and I never went back.

Toni H: You have to tell us what your probing, slap-inducing, question was!

Janis is clearly someone who clearly couldn't hack Christianity, but somehow ended up a married mother anyway.

So Sean, only Christians can be married mothers? Being a married mother means you can't have a career?

Deleted by moderator.

Why do atheists get married?

"Indeed, what has the average Charlottesville atheist liberal ever done for any poor country South of us - besides directly financed rape, torture and murder en masse with their endless illegal drug purchases?"

What vitriol, Sean? Doesn't sound very Christ-like to me. And besides, how many Charlottesville atheist liberals do you know personally to make the charge?

Atheists get married in civil ceremonies for lots of reasons having nothing to do with religion.

Stating facts and asking questions is not vitriol. Does your penchant for denial extend all the way to denying that marijuana and cocaine are extremely popular among Charlottesville's power, academic, and business elites? Really? Or is the whole Mexican bloodbath just a made up conspiracy created by Fox News?

Facts, what stinking facts? I don't need no facts, I'm Sean.

Any current Latin American (geez, why do we call it that?) bloodbath would still have a very long way to go to match the bloodbath resulting from the Catholic Church approved enslavement of the most of the continent of South America so that its gold and jewels could be taken to Europe to feed the church's insatiable lust for treasure.

Response # 1: Epic denial, and diversion from the obvious.
Response # 2: Ignore the 1964-2012 period discussed in the article. Refer to events hundreds of years ago to justify mass rape, torture, and murder in 2012.

Sean, the obvious is that you are a tool whose main purpose in life seems to be impose your ignorance on the rest of us. No diversion could even begin to hide that.

There is no 1964-2012 period discussed in the article. The article concerns a "Wizard-of-Oz moment" that led to a personal epiphany regarding the Catholic Church's paternalistic (perhaps pathological would be a better word) nature and the ridiculousness of its rituals including symbolic cannibalism. Both the pagan roots of those rituals and the attempt to dominate not only the church's followers but also any poor hapless souls whom believers might be able to subdue by force go far far back in history and continue today.

Recognizing the damage the Catholic Church has done and would like to continue to do has absolutely nothing to do with justifying "mass rape, torture, and murder in 2012," and no one in this discussion has even attempted to do so. I'm pretty sure PVCC must teach at least an introductory course in logic. If you go back for a 3rd associate's degree, you might consider taking the course in the hope of saving yourself at least some embarrassment when you write comments in public forums.

b17, great response!

Not that it likely matters in this Rorschach test of a discussion, but Father Mackin didn't say the word "marriage" in his pronouncement. (Of course, marriage would have been implicit. But he didn't say the word, as I recall.) I can only imagine how he would have evaluated a childless marriage.

Asking why an atheist would marry (although not religious, I am as far from atheism as anyone could be) is the same as saying: Why would an atheist enter into a contract? Answer: For the security and commitment that arises from that legal contract. Or maybe just for the fancy dress and the party. Hard to say.

I'm not sure why this provokes so much discussion. This post is about 30 years from being interesting or pertinent. And like all the other Janice Jacquith posts it's highly self-centered and narcissistic, albeit lighthearted and harmless. The "you're just a mean old man" Wizard of Oz moment vis a vis the Catholic Church has been done.

Rather than lurching into the usual dogmatic atheists and glad-to-see-others-damned believers dialectic, I'd say the only appropriate response here is just a bemused rolling of the eyes. Pieces like this belong in small(er) town journals alongside recipes for blackberry jam.

Amen, Jeff (as Father Mackin might say). And the blackberry jam recipes would be more interesting and useful.

I disagree with you entirely Jeff about the current relevance of this article. The RC has a wing very much interested in turning the clock back, and due to it's beliefs, is attempting to enforce it's principles on our entire society via government. The whole nonsense about paying for birth control - something used in many women for other health issues, is a classic. Nor is the RCC alone in this. When you consider how many of those beliefs are in political office, it get's far scarier than a Father Mackin.

Narcissistic or not, I suspect recent events have brought things to the forefront in Janice's mind, as they have mine. Every time I think we have moved beyond such narrow minded beliefs, something pops up.

It's always nice to read about moments when people realize what a corrupt sham organized religion is. Salon has a great article on its front page about a Mormon couple and their growing realization about the many lies their church perpetuates. Whether there is a god or not is irrelevant--we are better off focusing on what we know is real (here, earth) and not on some promise of future heavenly salvation. We only have one planet, and we are not taking care of it, and there will be much suffering down the road as a result.

Although Janis' articles are usually well written, include some decent humor, and most often lack the OCD partisanship of her husband - the incessant hypocrisies and ironies that are evident to anyone who dares to notice in this one are indeed worth noting.

1. The incessant attacks on one religion are certainly nothing new around here. But we all know 100% for sure that Janis would never, ever write such an article - about herself or anyone else - depicting a Rabbi or an Imam as an ignorant, backward old dinosaur teller of fairy tales. And even if she did, not a single newspaper in this town would ever agree to publish it. The bigotry is very focused, and indeed these folks never tire of it.

2. Who wants to bet that Janis has not now - nor ever - just returned from Africa having delivered a few suitcases full of Bodo's bagels and Riverside burgers to children there? Indeed, who wants to bet that Sharon Mahoney never once did such a thing either? Although I obviously have no idea, I'll go one step further and suggest that Ms. Mahoney probably followed the exact same path as Ms. Jaquith did - the exact one preferred and recommended by Father Dinosaur - marriage and motherhood. The point here is that even a child's curious question in grade school decades ago can be used to launch into some religious bigotry, and it seems perfectly natural to people who really do enjoy such things.

3. I recall exactly one other article written by Ms. Jaquith. It was a fantastic article about the life and death of her mother that appeared in this or some other newspaper a year or two ago. It seems she was a very good mother, and was both beloved and loved by many - so it's quite a contrast to read now what ignorant fools both her and her husband were to have forced their poor, oppressed daughter into such a cauldron of hate and ignorance, huh?

So, we're left with a basketfull of hypocrisy and unpleasant ironies here. Some of you think it is irrelevant. Some of you think it is fun. Well, I think it is relevant - and fun. The topics Caesonia brings up here is what is really going on. What we have right now in Charlottesville is a very embittered, increasingly desperate, and rather depressed group of hedonist/atheist/socially liberal academics and all around potheads who have been forced to watch as their philosophies and political cult heroes have once more fallen flat on their faces and abruptly ended their fantasies of ascendancy that just 3.5 years ago seemed (to them) to be inevitable. McGovern may not have had to worry about it, but the Information Age has made it rather easy to inform the masses that social liberals haven't had much to say regarding their self appointed defenders of women while our breast cancer rate has tripled and our preterm rate has doubled since the 60's.

I have no doubt that the academic and power elites around here cringe at the full parking lots and overflow crowds at all three Catholic churches even here in their C-Ville bubble. If they ever happened by the UVA chapel after 9 pm on a Sunday night when school is in session, they might really need a full bowl and a few lines to gather themselves anew.

But what really prods them into sucking their collective intellectual thumbs with such fervor reading articles like this one are the election results the last three years pretty much everywhere outside their little bubble, and the resulting onslaught of progress in human rights and scientific honesty - from Congress to the VA General Assembly to the halls of UVA. I for one hope that Father Mackin is still pumping air somewhere, and has been treated to the quote from resigning NARAL president Nancy Keenan while watching the March for Life this past January:

“I just thought, my gosh, they are so young,” Keenan recalled. “There are so many of them, and they are so young.”

Dinosaurs, indeed. Times they are a changing.

Sean, you wrote:

"But what really prods them into sucking their collective intellectual thumbs with such fervor reading articles like this one are the election results the last three years pretty much everywhere outside their little bubble, and the resulting onslaught of progress in human rights and scientific honesty."

What planet are you living on? Because most people outside the conservative Faux News bubble would argue that the exact opposite has been happening.

"Most people?"

Where?

Janis,
While I find great strength and comfort in the words of the Synoptic Gospels, I don't find too much that speaks to me within the "church". I enjoyed your article about your personal journey and am a little surprised at the vitriol. Sean appears to be one of those morally superior Christians who thinks that no one of a different (or no) faith is capable of good works, but I can speak from direct experience that there are an awful lot of secular humanists in this town doing mission work both in this community and abroad. I don't want to discount the fine work that many churches in this town do, but I hate it when I go somewhere like Haiti or Louisiana and the so-called Christians are all patting themselves on the back and assuming that you wouldn't be there if you weren't a Christian. That attitude is mean-spirited, self-serving, self-righteous, and just plain incorrect. Sean needs to take the log out of his own eye and quit being a hater. The world has far too many of those.

Very nicely written. I have many, many RC friends, but I cannot absorb the guilt foisted on them. We Episcopalians had it much easier. During confirmation class in 1962 our priest was lamenting the commercialization of Easter. One of my fellow students thought he had a great marketing idea for the E Church: sell chocolate covered prayer books. Class was suspended the next week.

It appears that Rev. Frank Mackin died in Massachusetts in 1988 at the age of 76, following a lifetime of selfless service to others.

He is not around to defend himself, his religion, or his former parishioners anymore - nor to notice all the hypocrisies and ironies here.

But I am.

I realize that the focus of this article was the stifling and controlling nature of the Catholic Church, but you know, there was Christianity before Catholicism. The earliest New Testament writings are found in the letters to the Thessalonians, and in fact, reading of the apostolic letters to various churches should be done long before gospels or anything else are consumed. In those letters you will find a description of a sort of 'wild west' Christian community that was not at all limited to any specific liturgy or practice, other than baptism and 'communion', which identified the members as such. It's too bad the original church was hijacked by the later 'catholic' power structure and morphed into what we see afterwards.

Please spare us your your selfless defense of Father Francis Mackin, Sean. You know nothing about the man. I do. I first met him when I was 8 years old and became an altar boy at St. Thomas of Villanova church. He taught me the Mass in Latin. He taught me that you always genuflect with your back straight and your head held high. He taught me to keep my shoes shined, even when you knew that they were hidden under your cassock. He took me and twenty other altar boys on a ferry from Boston to Paragon Park at Nantasket Beach every summer and I watched him slip a few bucks to the kids who he knew didn't have any money to go on the rides. I watched him joke with nervous grooms in the sacristy before their weddings and 15 years later, he joked with me before my wedding. I rode home from the hospital with him after he identified my mother and brothers and sisters, so I wouldn't have to, after they perished in a fire. A few days later, he said their funeral mass.

He was a good and kind man, who loved his family (he doted on his sister and his nephew), his parishioners, his community and his God. If I were to compile a list of influential people in my life, Father Mackin would be high on that list. He was also a man of his times, as we all were (and are). He was taught to be obedient, as part of his vows. But, he was no more perfect than any of the rest of are. And he was wrong about the role of women. But, he did know compassion, Sean, and that may be something you'd want to work on.

Sean, where you do get the idea that my mother looks down upon marriage and motherhood? She has been an incredible, devoted mother and wife for over 30 years, and her family could not be more proud of her for that. My mother has raised me to believe that being a mother is one of the most difficult, respectable jobs available to a woman. That said, she also respects those woman who do not choose that life for themselves, and who do not choose to become nuns. I think you may have misunderstood her essay. The point is that, to a child (and presumably to most adults these days), it seems preposterous that a woman who chooses to lead a life of service, or to hold a full-time job, or who is unable or unwilling to bear a child for any reason, should be precluded from going to heaven.

I hope you'll also note that this is a personal essay, as are all of Janis' pieces in The Hook. This is not an article proclaiming that Catholicism is dead -- just that her own relationship with the Catholic Church is over. I'm not sure what the point is of attacking someone's personal religious experience; it's simply her story. I hope you can find it in your heart to be more Christ-like in the future.

...so you come online to attack the ONE person here actually defending your friend, rather than the one who made him sound like such a terrible person who hated women.

Hilarious.

I'll pray for you tonight, Sean. It sounds like you need it. By the way, I can see that you don't understand why, but that comment made it clear that you know nothing about Janis Jaquith, Father Mackin, or Harry Landers.

Jill, your mom wrote an article about a religious man who dedicated his entire life to helping others (including her) and practiced what he preached (celibacy), and proceeded to depict him as a frantic, woman hating, controlling, double standard, guilt monger who was comparable only to the Wizard of Oz in his backward ignorance. As if she or anyone won some sort o unlikely victory by leaving the Church.. You and I both know that had this man been clergy in ANY other religion, this article would never have been written - or printed - by anyone around here.

Yet, somehow, if I dare defend the man that SHE hated on for simply following his own religion and doing as YOUR grandparents wanted with regard to your mom's education - that somehow makes makes ME the hater?? Were your grandparents as terrible as Fr. Mackin was? How does all this reversal work exactly/logically?

Nobody, including me, has a problem with a personal story about a personal decision. But anyone can see the glaring hypocrisies and ironies here. Your mom ended up doing exactly as she was told by the evil ogre, didn't she? Nobody, including me, has been ragging on women who are not married and not nuns. Of my eight colleagues on my activist groups board, six just so happen to be women - and none of them are married, or nuns. Only one of them is under 24 years of age, and she's busy becoming a doctor at present.

It's quite a leap for you to presume that anyone who defends a priest or any religion instantly transforms themselves into your narrow minded mold for all of us. The philosophical argument between your mom and Father Mackin has been and will be going on for many generations. And we have been rather adept (and successful of late) of pulling back some curtains of our own, and reminding people that it has NOT been all progress and happiness for women since 1964.

Your mother obviously has the right to tell whatever personal story she wants. So do I. And if indeed I start attacking someone, she is free to defend them also. Mine is decidedly less pleasant. And people like Fr. Mackin and his Pope were indeed warning of the coming bloodbath while the "sexual revolution" was just getting underway back in the 60's. It all happened just like they said it would. Our breast cancer rate has tripled, our preterm birth rate has doubled (think: cerebral palsy), and we have 54 MILLION missing children (most of them female) dismembered in garbage dumps instead of voting and working.

"Congratulations."

All I ask as this terrible person defending such a terrible man is this: Consider that your view of BOTH history and religion has been severely tilted around here, and that there are large parts of the story that have been deliberately kept from you. Like you probably have been taught to suspect of religious folks, the culture around here has ensured that at least half the story and the facts are missing from your consideration of what aggregate progress really is.

It's fine by me if your mom left this or any church, but it should not surprise you that somebody dared to defend the man depicted so negatively in this article. Call me a hater if you want, but I certainly wasn't the first one here..

Pardon? There is no "hating on" Father Macklin. This essay is about realizing the Catholic Church does not fit with her beliefs because it condemns women who are not mothers or nuns. That includes your six female friends. According to what the Catholic Church told my mother as a child, those friends of yours are destined for hell, as am I. I think it shows the good in Janis that she thought women like that were good people and that everyone should make their own choices about their life's work. If you are arguing against Janis' view here, you are arguing that your friends and I are going directly to hell. I strive to be Christ-like, as do my parents, and I don't think the fact that I don't have children yet means I'm destined to burn for eternity. I bet your six female friends strive to be good people as well, and if a member of the clergy told me they were going to hell because of their profession, I would respectfully disagree.

There is nothing in the essay about hating Father Macklin himself. It even says in the essay that Father Macklin married my parents. He was, as Harry said above, simply the bearer of misogynistic Catholic views.

If any of this confuses you, please go back and re-read the essay. I think you may be elaborating on its content in your mind.

I'm sorry to double-post, but I just noticed your comment about "large parts of the story" being "deliberately kept" from me. I am an adult woman with a master's degree and plenty of life experience, not a child. I was raised Catholic (in a more liberal church) until I was old enough to make my own decisions, at which point I remained Catholic for several years until I found a religion better suited to my beliefs. I am Christian. My parents are not atheists, and it's up to them to decide whether they want you to know about their religious beliefs. I was not raised to be suspicious of any religion or of atheists. I was given a wonderful religious background along with the freedom to make my own decisions.

I don't think you needed to know any of that information about me, but I hope you'll pause before you make assumptions about someone you don't know at all in the future.

Is the bloodbath Father Macklin and the pope warned about?
http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/slideshow/guide-catholic-sex-scandals-1128...

Ok, so I figured you were too brainwashed to peel your own beloved curtain away and dare look at the other side - and I was right. But it was worth a try. Every one of your completely cooked up fantasies about hell and damnation, as well as your bigotry against the Church, is entertaining nonsense. And you folks actually wonder why you are losing so badly..

I didn't argue against Janis' view of the Catholic church, or her decision to leave it - although another irony is that she somehow got married in that same horrible place all those years later huh? That was/is all up to her, and her need for a big party and a pretty dress I guess...

I simply noticed and commented on her unfair rant and slander against a good man who would never written such an article about her, and merely pointed out that she ended up doing exactly as he suggested she do anyway. Your loony stretches into all these other narrow minded, ancient talking points appeal only to a diminishing and aging demographic these days. Fewer and fewer women buy into the grayed propaganda anymore. They actually peel the curtain back, know when they became female, know when Christ became Christ, and know why it really is that Hugh Hefner and Bill Maher are such large contributors to and supporters of Planned Parenthood.

For your sake, I sincerely hope you get get better educated about these things those who came before you. Your grandparents sound like they had it right all along.

http://www.jillstanek.com/2012/05/the-reproductive-life-of-julia/

It was interesting to hear your perspective, Sean; thanks for sharing! Have a good evening.

"so you come online to attack the ONE person here actually defending your friend,"

But you aren't defending the father; you didn't even know who he was or if he was worth defending. After all, plenty of RC priests are not worth it, they are pedophiles, not celibate. As if celibate has anything to do with being selfless.

You are defending yourself. Your beliefs. Your need to dictate. Your need to blame and point fingers. Your need to label because you are afraid.

That's why we find what your write so offensive.

You know, I am not too enamoured of the trust fund hippies in the area, or their unfocused offspring, but they are just the opposite side of the self entitled narcissistic coin you live on.

What you find so offensive is losing, Caesonia. Bigotry and nonsense don't sell all that well in the information age. I suggest you grow more accustomed to it.

Goodnight, Jill.

I actually liked Father Mackin. I just no longer believed what he wanted me to believe. After that moment of revelation I experienced, there was little emotion about the whole situation. Certainly no hatred. I think I appreciated him more following that pivotal moment, because I saw that he was a human being, just like me.

So now we're supposed to believe that he told all of you that he was not a human being?
So nice of you to use him for "the fancy dress and the party," Janis. Seems you kept him and his church around when it was convenient, then waited until long after he was dead to publicly ridicule him for "frantically manipulating the controls to the smoke and illusion from behind his curtain." How nice..

Lots of bitterness consuming old Sean. C'est dommage.

Matthew 22:34-40
34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" 37 Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

also...

James 1:22-27 (New International Version)

22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it--he will be blessed in what he does. 26 If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."

It is not about mega-churches or empire-building. It is about caring for fellow humankind. That's why we are here.

That's the bottom line. God will sort it out in His own due time.

It was the culmination of several things, parthenogenesis being one, but the reanimation of Christ was what got me slapped...an unfair comment about it not working except in the fantasy writing of Mary Shelley....

In 1960s we grew up in Unitarian church on Rugby road. We did dress up for church then like everyone else but apparently that was main thing we had in common. I always went on the activities and skipped the bible study. I remember thinking a long time there were 3 Holy books, the bible, the new testament and the old testament. My day of learning was when someone told me the two testaments make up the bible.

Sean: What relationship to do you see between the "sexual revolution" and the incidence of breast cancer and preterm births? (You've mentioned that twice in your comments.)

"Previous abortion is a significant risk factor for Low Birth Weight and Preterm Birth, and the risk increases with the increasing number of previous abortions. Practitioners should consider previous abortion as a risk factor for LBW and PB. "

Virginia Commonwealth University study as printed in the British Medical Journal.

"Induced and spontaneous abortion are associated with similarly increased ORs for preterm birth in subsequent pregnancies, and they vary inversely with the baseline preterm birth rate, explaining some of the variability among studies"

Journal of Reproductive Medicine

"Women with a history of induced abortion were at higher risk of very preterm delivery than those with no such history (OR + 1.5, 95% CI 1.1–2.0); the risk was even higher for extremely preterm deliveries (<28 weeks)"

British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology

"This study shows that a history of induced abortion increases the risk of very preterm birth, particularly extremely preterm deliveries. It appears that both infectious and mechanical mechanisms may be involved." This study showed that women who gave birth between 28 and 32 weeks of pregnancy were 40% more likely to have had a previous abortion, and mothers who gave birth to extremeley preterm infants from 22 to 27 weeks were 70% more likely to have had an abortion.

French Study of 2837 preterm births conducted by pro abortion researcher Caroline Moreau.

"A consent form that simply lists such items as "incompetent cervix" or "infection" as potential complications, but does not inform women of the elevated future risk of a preterm delivery, and that the latter constitutes a risk factor for devastating complications such as
cerebral palsy, may not satisfy courts"

Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons

"Previous induced abortions significantly increased the risk of preterm delivery after idiopathic preterm labour, preterm premature rupture of membranes and ante-partum haemorrhage, but not preterm delivery after maternal hypertension. The strength of the association increased with decreasing gestational age at birth."

European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology

"The latest statistics in the USA (2007) show a preterm (less than 37 weeks) birth rate of 12.6%. Of these, Early Preterm Birth (EPB—under 32 weeks, infants weighing under 1500 grams, or about three pounds.) is at 7.8%, the highest rate in the past 30 years of stats. As noted in the studies above, previous induced abortions’ have an inordinately increased association with “extreme” (<27 wk) and “early”(<32 wk) premature deliveries (compared to 32 – 37 week premature births.) Thus, it follows that abortion will also have an inordinately increased association with cerebral palsy and other disabilities linked to extreme prematurity."

American Association of Pro Life
Obstetricians and Gynecologists

www.uvalies.org/response
(the nine of us have been publicly identified for the first time in this document.)

Sorry for the facebook link to the breast cancer graph, but we are updating our website at present.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=131999770208324&set=a.1319996735...

20 published studies, vs. 3. No challenges to the 2006 meta analysis.
Group One carcinogen according to the WHO (not the band).

Now watch as the DDD Convention hastily convenes once more.

Denial. Diversion. Distraction.

Nevermind the millions of dead women.

"What you find so offensive is losing, Caesonia. Bigotry and nonsense don't sell all that well in the information age. I suggest you grow more accustomed to it."

Losing what Sean? Just what has any of this do with with winning and losing? So is enforcing your belief system on others winning? Is that it? Is that what you are really looking for? Dictating about where people might go to Church, or if they have right to get an education, have a family or not, be employed in a field of their choice? Whether they are a woman, or black, or green, or gay or straight...Is that what winning is all about to you?

No Sean, we are not going back to 1950. Blacks will not be forced to drink at separate water fountains and sit in the back of the bus. The majority of college attendees and graduates are now female and the balance - sadly - is continuing to slide even more so towards the female population in terms of higher education. These women have the skill sets to compete and create jobs in the globalized economy, whether they Xian, Muslim, Hindu, or Athiest.

The fact that there is a culture that doesn't have your religious beliefs doesn't make them bigots. After all, we live in a country that wrote a Constitution specifically to keep religion private. If you want a Theocracy I suggest you move to the Vatican. Because in my experience, even Italy is full of people mad at the RC Church.

You aren't a victim, and this isn't a contest Sean. You have the right to your religious beliefs. You just don't have the right to enforce them on me or anyone else. And by the way - I was raised in a conservative Sourthern family with very religious Patriarchs who ran bible studies all over the world and bent over backwards to make sure their female offspring had choices.

They had little truck with men like you.

"Nuns run bald through Vatican halls, pregnant, pleading immaculate conception"

Two speakers at the DDD Convention so far. Just make things up out of thin air, put words in people's mouths, dream up all sorts of fantasy this and that and attribute it to someone else - then pretend that you are outraged at the philosophies and opinions you have given that someone else to posses.. Just make sure you remain completely anonymous (the Jaquith ladies accepted) so you never actually have to explain yourself.

Sam, I've been in that church once - for Michael Crafaik's funeral. (Brings back memories of a few of the Hook's most famous personal attack/slander articles - and that is really saying something!) I kept quiet as this very pro abort "church" referred over and over to his pregnant fiancee and the "life," "child," and "baby" that Michael had FATHERed just before his death.

You see, they don't even believe themselves...

Sean, you didn't directly address anything Old Timer said.

"Two speakers at the DDD Convention so far. Just make things up out of thin air, put words in people's mouths, dream up all sorts of fantasy this and that and attribute it to someone else."

I think you need to look up the word projection Sean. You've been doing exactly that since this conversation started, as well as avoiding any questions you don't want to answer. That's called denial.

This article is about a woman choosing a life path condemned by the RC Church, not abortion. But leave it to a bitter angry white Xian male to drag in an unrelated straw man argument and then cry victim and bigotry because they can't take responsibility for their own warped world view.

Well said, Old Timer.

Nor do I have any need or want to respond to nonsensical gibberish, or completely fabricated strawman arguments...
Although it is entertaining to how many different ways the DDD Convention manifests itself when trying to deal with published and peer reviewed science. This time, it even included Blacks at water fountains! Good thing that nonsense is becoming a museum piece now..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hX864fXR1A0

I am sorry Sean, but women choosing to get educations and have careers in science and industry instead of being housewives does not have anything directly to do with abortions. That's like saying that people swimming in the ocean in summer means sharks feed more in the summer. Stop trying to wedge something in that doesn't belong here and then pretend that you are surrounded by a bunch of liberal who are denialists because people won't play.

For that matter, women being educated and having opportunity lowers the number of unwanted pregnancies and hungry children and raises the economic wealth of a community - lots of studies in the third world to show that.

Oh, and leave Crafaik and his family out of your perverse projection nonsense. He and his mother suffered too much for you to use them to make a strawman point all about you.

Old, now that you at least came close to asking a rational question with some basis in reality, I'll state - again - that I have/have no problem whatsoever with Mrs. Jaquith's decision to leave the church. I merely noticed that it was not very nice of her to ridicule and poke fun of a man publicly who spent his life in service to others, and wait to do so long after he could defend himself. I also have reminded readers here of the costs associated with what happened to our country 1965-1975. I've noticed you are very keen to avoid any discussion/consideration of those, even if they include millions of dead women, and needlessly deformed children also. It is reasonable that their rights don't matter much to you as a result. You have a very narrow view of who gets included in the rights basket, don't you? If you don't like my retort to this article suggesting that all came out fine and dandy after the sexual revolution, too bad. It actually has killed millions.

The only other thing that apparently I have to repeat (because you missed/ignored it the first three times) is what life decision of Mrs. Jaquith's you are referring to? She got married. She became a mother. She did exactly as Father Mackin driected her to - and was even married by him!

So....What are you talking about???????????

Old, while you are looking back through these comments, you may also want to reacquaint yourself with the author of this article specifically asking me to explain the preterm birth and breast cancer issues. Yet, you still somehow pretend that YOU can wedge yourself in here and tell everyone that that is NOT part of this discussion. Seems your self proclaimed respect for women includes only those that toe your line.. Interesting!

You "won't play" because you can't - and you are justifiably terrified of what this sort of knowledge and science has already done to your old, failed, and quickly fading political agenda.

Despite all your personal bile against me, I will grant that you are correct in that I should have left the deceased's name off my reference to that funeral. Although I defended him against the Hook's slander - then and now - my apologies for bringing it up.

Sean

Remember when you repeatedly insulted and slandered a recently deceased UVa student in the comments section of various articles, and later the student's father relayed how his grieving wife had seen all the comments you made and was absolutely devastated by the vitriol she was reading about her dead son? How he listed all his contact info and told you to go to his house and ask him in person if you really want to know something, and how you should be ashamed of yourself and should apologize? And how you never did but instead just disappeared from the threads (probably for the first time in history)?

Good times. Keep up the good work man. Your life must be so full of light and sunshine, keep on spreading the good vibes. You make others want to be a Christian, full of love and compassion, honest and humble. Keep it up, I say, keep it up.

"I dared mention it online, criticizing only those who buried the story. "

I guess the student's mother must have had a problem with reading comprehension. But we know grieving mothers (and females in general), don't we, always so dramatic and emotional!

"All local media was warned by UVA not to cover or investigate what happened. All complied, including the Hook. I dared mention it online, criticizing only those who buried the story. "

Do you have any evidence of this? BTW, what a hero you are, a modern Voltaire, with your one man crusade against censorship. You put yourself at great personal risk to speak up for the masses!

Believe it or not once in a while a story is just a story with no malice intended. Take the story for what it is.

Her account is very personal and she put it out there only to be mocked and put down by some of you. What goes around comes around my friends.

That linked document reads to me like the Unabomber's Manifesto. It says more about the author than anything else.

Five, six,..

For those of you who get scared reading about medical science..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2QvLHOza8s

@Conrad

You remember and recount correctly. Next will come his claims of insider knowledge based on what he seemingly regards as bona fides but strikes some others as hypocrisy, if not some sort of psychopathology: self-reports of his drinking, promiscuous sexual contact, brawling, and trouble with the law.

The kernel of the grudge, as I understand it from his postings across the local media, is in what that manifesto describes as “fathers’ rights” (that may not be an exact quote, but I’m not going to waste time reading it again).

To my eye, there’s a great deal of felt hurt, perhaps some of it understandable in the sense of a teen or twenty-something (American) mind. But if you’re successful, in my opinion, you grow out of that, because you get in a family relationship, find faith, or just mature. (The sexism of the many posts, the Facebook site, and so are loathsome -- but I don't think he sees it.)

He deserves our scorn, surely, for the continuing hate and realm harm (as you cited), but also our pity and prayers.

Seven, ..

http://www.fletcherarmstrongblog.com/tag/kelsey-hazzard/

Good coverage of Kelsey's two new organizations also. We miss her input and legal prowess, but Caroline has proven to be a valuable replacement. Our colleague Stephanie Gray is leading the Caravan across Canada as we speak. New Initiatives targeting two more universities will appear early this Fall. One in Ohio, and one in Belgium.

I'll keep promoting all of us until someone actually discusses the topic that the AUTHOR was curious about.

"Old, while you are looking back through these comments, you may also want to reacquaint yourself with the author of this article specifically asking me to explain the preterm birth and breast cancer issues.

Yes, she did, after you repeatedly tried to bring it in, where it doesn't belong. After which you decided to make all sorts of garbage relationships, which Old Timer was talking about. Plenty of women go out and have careers, don't get married, and also don't have abortions. They also don't do drugs or go to Church.

SEAN,

One, two three four five six seven either nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen.....and counting.

Eventually someone will get annoyed enough to sue you into silence for all the slander and libel you post here.

Unless of course you have any proof whatsoever about what you are saying?

To paraphrase Jesus Christ himself: You all are missing the point!

Sean

Serious question: What got so passionate about the abortion issue? Was it something that always moved you to try and do something about it?

If it's some personal story you don't want to share, that's fine. I'm just curious as to whether this has always been something you were passionate about.

-Conrad