Questions for my mother – list

Why are you so fervently pro-life? Why all of a sudden? Why do you now participate in these silent protest marches against planned parenthood? Is this a sort of “legalistic” behavior? How do you reconcile voting for “pro-life” candidates with the fact that those very same politicians try, at every turn, to cut support to mothers and babies?

How do you reconcile your personal behavior, and the fact that you raised me (consciously or not) to be a feminist, with what the church teaches about the role of a woman in the household?

(This one is gross when I think of it in personal terms, but) what do you think about the church’s teachings on birth control? Do you think birth control is bad? If so, for whom? How did you end up with only three children – was any kind of birth control used? “Natural family planning”? Did you ever have sex just for fun, or was God and family planning always a participant? Did you stop having sex after I was conceived? Can you think about how this approach to sex could have been detrimental to a marriage?

How can you have instilled values in me that lead me to embrace the social safety net, (more) open borders, and much less stratification between the rich and the poor (to name a few), and in fact how can you subscribe, in theory, to the same perspective I have on these issues, and yet continue to vote for conservative politicians? How can you prioritize basically one issue (“pro-life,” or in reality, “pro-birth”) over all these other issues? Especially when the one issue is built upon a mucked-up argument, and your voting according to it is unlikely (for oh, soooo many reasons) to effect your desired outcome? Especially when the OTHER important issues that you could use as a basis for your vote have much more real-world consequence, and are much-more based in the actual (supposed) teachings of Jesus, and are way more likely to be impacted by your vote?

What about the pick-and-choose literalism that is particularly prevalent in Catholic practice? Not that I’m not glad I wasn’t raised in a fundamentalist household, but why, then, are some things taken literally? How can you put so much of your life into living by ideas that were written 50 or 100 years in many cases after the fact, often by crazy people, collected and curated and translated by countless people countless times, that existed and made sense (as all writing does) in a specific time and place?

Why do you continue to believe that morality comes from religion? Would it be so hard, too identity-shattering, to acknowledge that the teachings of Jesus (the “good” ones) do not actually NEED Jesus to be carried out? Why do we need to once-remove ourselves from our lives, our good works, our accomplishments, etc.? Why do we have to bear the brunt of responsibility for our failures, yet cannot be allowed to accept any sense of personal accomplishment for our triumphs?

Don’t you see how the martyrdom inherent in the concept of Jesus’ sacrifice, that idea of “perfect” love, is destructive? It is the true essence of Christianity: you must not enjoy yourself. Do you really think that’s such a good idea?

How do you reconcile the scarcity of “miracles” compared to the magnitude and frequency of outright tragedies? (Tim Minchin’s “Thank you, God”)


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