July 2, 2008

Six degrees of Catholic bacon (or lard)

Here's another amusing thread courtesy of our friend Dad29, in which he accuses me of "misquoting" a two-paragraph item in the Chicago Tribune the other day.

Apparently he thinks I missed the part where the Archdiocese's spokesmodel described prayers for transgendered human beings as "inimical" to Church teaching. Trouble is, I specifically mentioned that part.

I wondered how come entire Catholic Masses for dogs dressed as babies and clowns might be celebrated, but the Chicago Archdiocese deems it "not possible" to even mention transgendered human beings for prayerful purposes on Church property.

And it's "not possible" because it's "inimical" to Church teaching. Yeah, I got that, and mentioned it. There was no misquoting.

I'm admonished by an apparent Defender of the Faith that, "Any parish that holds those Masses [for dogs dressed as clowns] doesn't understand the teaching of the Church on the sacredness of liturgy. Or much else."

Yet according to the collection of wild-eyed heretics at Catholic.org, there are prayers for not only animals — alive, diseased, and dead — but a variety of inanimate objects, such as bedrooms, cornerstones of buildings, and even bacon:
Bless, O Lord, this lard (or bacon), that it may be an effective remedy for the human race, and grant that through the invocation of Thy holy name all those who eat of it may obtain health of body and protection of their souls. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
So, Catholics may pray for bacon (or lard) but not for transgendered human beings. Bacon! Which is something that not even Jesus as an adherent to Jewish dietary proscriptions would have eaten.

Why a slab of cured and sulfite-infused pig meat merits prayer but not an actual, living human being who may have happened to have been born with ambiguous genitalia according to God's Divine Plan strikes me as just a bit, well, odd, to say the least.

Maybe the healing properties of lard (or bacon) can cure teh gay?

16 comments:

Tom said...

I guess I'm a "Bad Catholic" because I haven't kept up on this issue. What exactly, however, is the context of these prayers?

Sure, there are prayers that cover just about every aspect of daily life. Some can be said when you wake up, when you get out of bed, when you get dressed, before you eat, after you eat, before you go to bed. There are prayers to bless your house, your car, your office. Their intent is to bring your focus on living a good life. They're not supposed to be for superstition. We all go through life taking things for granted from time to time. Prayer is supposed to be a reminder for us NOT TO (take things for granted). For a lot of people, this can be seen as comical and fodder for ridicule. Typically this means that we, as Catholics, have done a poor job of representing and/or explaining prayer properly.

Individuals of all races, genders, sexual orientation, creeds ... are to be prayed for. From my point of view, they're all made in God's image, they're all His creation. I don't think the "ruling" has to do with not praying for transgendered individuals ... I've got to assume that there is something more than that involved in this situation.

illusory tenant said...

Individuals of all races, genders, sexual orientation, creeds ... are to be prayed for. From my point of view, they're all made in God's image, they're all His creation.

Exactly. Exclusion from prayer on the basis of one's sexual orientation -- or worse, their physical condition -- seems to me decidedly un-Christlike.

Tom said...

Exclusion from prayer on the basis of one's sexual orientation -- or worse, their physical condition -- seems to me decidedly un-Christlike.

Agreed. However, do Catholics have things like "Prayers for the White Man"? I highly doubt it. Perhaps this is the point the Catholic Church is trying to make ... instead of picking out individuals ... we're to pray for the collective. Catholicism especially, has always been more about the community than the individual (then along came the Reformation and the focus on a "personal relationship with Jesus"), perhaps this ruling is an extension of that line of thought.

capper said...

Thomas Joseph-

Aren't the transgendered part of the community? Using that logic, the prayers should include them.

Tom said...

Yes, by necessity the prayers include them. What isn't included is calling out each individual group by name.

For example (and I'm not saying it's the best example I could offer), the opening to an inclusive prayer:
I confess to you Almighty God, and to you my brothers and sisters ...

Instead of:
I confess to you Almighty God, and to you my brothers and sisters, the whites, blacks, asians, gays, heterosexuals, transgendered, muslims, taoists, catholics, evangelicals ...

Just because a group isn't mentioned BY NAME, doesn't mean it's being excluded. I'd argue just the opposite. Yet, some people feel slighted if their names aren't in lights.

3rd Way said...

Aren't the transgendered part of the community? Using that logic, the prayers should include them.

Or does their inimicalness create a status as an unmentionable member of the community as Daddio seems to contend?

capper said...

I think that the bacon prayers happen at the church of St. Patrick Cudahy.

illusory tenant said...

Another bizarre comment from that thread:

"The Church teaches homosexual behavior is a sin, and incompatible with natural law."

Then it descends into insults.

I guess I'm at a loss as to how simply being a transgendered person, which involves the question of one's gender self-identification, constitutes "homosexual behavior."

It's pointless to argue with those people, really. The old greased pig analogy: "Pray for my bacon so I might get off on innumerable wild tangents and at some point really start to enjoy it."

Maybe if they spent a little more time thinking about what it is they're reacting against than just reacting. Somebody oughta pray for that, because it probably would take a miracle.

John Foust said...

Next thing you know, you're going to tell us that the men in black can't mention the Packers in their sermons and/or prayers.

By some coincidence, last night I finished reading the novel "Middlesex". Quite moving and entertaining. I wholeheartedly recommend it! Not only hermaphrodites, but Orthodox Greeks abound. And there's a redhead in it, so maybe the Prof and I would agree on its merits.

grumps said...

Sulfite-Infused Pig Meat would be a great band name.

John Foust said...

I really wanted to go off on a tangent about the benefits of lard and making your own lard. You might think I'm a political blogger, but what I really want to do is foodie blogging.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the "ruling" has to do with not praying for transgendered individuals

IOW, we'll love you, but dare not speak your name. That's a...charitable reading.

Unknown said...

We had pretty much the same prayer service as planned, just had a different name.

The little circus outside of church was kind of lame. Two local TV stations and a mayor. No pony rides.

Tom said...

IOW, we'll love you, but dare not speak your name. That's a... charitable reading.

Since no one else gets mentioned by name either, it seems to be the most charitable route of all.

Dad29 said...

As we can see, sloppy reading leads to sloppy thinking, IT.

1) The church will never "celebrate" homosexual behavior, which is sinful. You may think that objective judgment is insulting. That's your problem.

2) The church WILL pray for the salvation of the souls of anyone. Big difference from "celebrating" the practice of grave disorders.

3) The church has a variety of blessings. Were you to have read the lard-blessing carefully (something you just don't like to do) you would note that the blessing is rendered SO THAT the substance will assist people in maintaining their health AND THEIR SALVATION.

Remedial reading is offered in several MPS high-schools and some local colleges. You ought to look into the possibilities.

illusory tenant said...

Chicago Tribune:

"St. Joan of Arc Church has held the prayer service for several years in conjunction with the annual Twin Cities Pride Celebration."

In conjunction with = at the same time as.

Remedial reading is offered in several MPS high-schools and some local colleges.

Then by all means, enroll. Because I, on the other hand, understand that a prayer over bacon is not necessarily a celebration of bacon.

I will admit, however, that I was previously unaware of bacon's properties as a Salvation-facilitator, so, thanks for that.