Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Defining the purpose of my blog in light of recent events

The other day, there was this. Today, there was this. Then, within minutes of that, a new commenter left a new comment on an old blog post: 

I am a recovering Liberal, so I totally get you on this one. All those closed doors within our minds, guarded by rage and spleen, trying with impotent rage to defend the myriad logical flaws in our position, because we are RIGHT and if we let others tear down our divinely-ordained moral authority, those crazy Fascists who disagree with us will WIN and everyone will be doomed to abject misery, like all humans throughout history were, until 1960. 
By and large, this mindset is what you are up against. I call it the Principle of the Inevitable Extreme Fundamentalism of Received Wisdom. Left-leaning ideology is the "received wisdom" now, and the more true this becomes, the more violent and irrational its proponents will become. Like the received wisdom of the past (racial segregation, anyone?), those who subscribe to it feel assured of general approval from others, and so feel little need to think things through on a case-by-case basis. It is much easier to swallow an entire ideology allow ourselves to stop thinking...than to continually use our brains and assess the world around us. As this process takes place, argument will become more hysterical and consist more and more of a complete shutting down of argument, by way of the tried and true "How dare you disagree with me? What kind of person are you?" 
Please understand, this isn't what most of us mean to do. But when an otherwise reasonable person comes up against the shut doors in his or her mind, and is *morally certain* that the antagonist in debate "just can't see what I see", when this person is certain that those doors are shutting out *anarchy and tyranny* rather than *reason*...well, even the most generally reasonable and gentle person can get pretty shrill. 

So now, when somebody asks me my political leanings, I say "Catholic". At least that's a position I can defend, because I know for sure what it stands for! 

In light of all that, and in light of the responses to this and this, I have been mulling over the purpose of this blog. Here's what I have come up with:

I want this to be a teaching blog. 

But teach whom? Well, Catholics, mainly. Both the lurkers and those known to me. I want Catholics to see that our Faith is cohesive, consistent and reasonable, and I want them to be able to teach it in their own homes and communities, and defend it in the world. I want to help make up for the catechesis deficit we've had for the past two generations.

Do I expect to be attacked for speaking the Truth bluntly? Yes. We live in a "feel good" world, and if what I present doesn't make you "feel good," then I risk feeling your wrath. That's okay, and I can take it. 

Can I be counted on to dialogue respectfully and unemotionally with those who disagree? Yes, ask Miss Gwen. :) But I will speak the plain truth as I see it, even if it's unpopular or makes people uncomfortable. I don't sugarcoat, because a) we need to be able to dialogue like grown-ups, and b) it wastes time. Time is valuable, people! Many may chafe at my straight-talk approach; they are free to read other, more soothing blogs.

Do I hope to plant seeds for the non-believers or Catholic-bashers, maybe even winning them over to our side? Of course! But that is not my primary aim. Pope John Paul II once said that it's impossible to correct every error we encounter, but we must always speak the truth. I know that some folks will never be convinced, and others will react with a knee-jerk emotional outburst. I accept that. I won't censor them, and I will occasionally dissect their words to get to the truth of the matter.

By the way, in matters of politics and policy, the opinions on this blog are my own. In matters of theology, I don't give my opinion, I simply pass along what the Church teaches. Truth originates with God, and our only job is to seek it humbly, then live it.

But in addition to being a teaching blog, I want this blog to be a learning blog, with me as the student. First, I want to learn what makes leftist/liberal/atheist minds tick. Why do they think as they do? As I've said before, the liberal mindset makes no logical sense to me (except when a rare and honest liberal like Miss Gwen is able to follow a premise to its inevitable, logical conclusion).

I also want to learn from the amazing women I have befriended on these blogs. So many of you have struggled with heavy crosses, and have grown more virtuous and holy as you humbly die to self and cling to Christ. I want to keep learning at your feet, which is why I so enjoy reading your edifying comments here and on your own blogs.

A teaching blog and a learning blog. Yep, that's what I want this to be.

Some posts on the Bubble's horizon:

Mortal vs. venial sin
Do Catholics think everyone is going to hell?
Moral Reasoning 101 (what makes an action moral?)... quiz form!

Some of the most common illogical arguments
The agony of scrupulosity 
Where liberal logic is unassailable
Why does the idea objective truth make people so emotional?
A really cool post on sexual sin

I don't know if this post makes sense to anyone but me. It was a "thinking out loud" post. Thanks for listening in!


  1. ah, i was wondering how you were doing. only on my best day would i have skin thick enough to withstand a post entirely dedicated to why i'm evil!

    remembering why you write is always a good thing. way to keep focused on the goal. i know i appreciate it.

  2. I never said she was evil. I was just pointing out that her words cut me deep and hurt. You never saw me making blatant attacks on her beliefs. Enough about that though, as I said earlier that turned into a shit show, in which I never intended it to be.

    I am glad Leila you are defining what your blog is You may wonder why I am even here. Although Leila you did hurt me I appreciate your willingness to own what you believe. I do not appreciate the way it is communicated but at best you are willing to go the distance and help someone understand. I would like to hear more about your religion. I would like to understand what you believe.

    Although we may disagree, that is okay, that was at the heart of my post. It is getting past conflict and moving onto a place of mutual respect. That is how we learn and form tolerance. I would like it if we could move past our differences, I think we could learn from one another.

    I am looking forward to reading your posts on what being Catholic means to you.

  3. Beckie, I think I have just fallen in love with you. :) Seriously, you are very gracious, and I appreciate this outreach. I hope we can move forward with mutual respect. In fact, I am sure we can. You are always welcome in the Bubble! :)

  4. Beckie, likewise, you're welcome on my blog any day! We struggled with IF for seven and then five years and chose adoption to build our family. Those were some of the most difficult and yet grace-filled years of our lives. Besides adopting children, we also experienced a profound conversion and now we love to share our story!

  5. I think there is another post you absolutely need to do: A post on judgement (judging others). You've been acccused as being hyper-judgemental (to put it mildly) in the comments, and I think you should respond to that.

    We can judge actions as Right or Wrong according to Absolute Truth, as given to us by God. We don't judge a person as intrinsically evil or hell-bound, we are all sinners on this Earth together.

    Every commenter on that blog would "judge" you as commiting an immoral act if you came on here and said that you decided you'd had it with the whining and had drowned all of your children. They would all react to the visceral knowledge that such an action is Wrong. So let's get over the idea that only the religious "judge" the actions of others.

    You have simply chosen to represent the Truth that less than even 4% of "practicing" Catholics still believe, which is the Truth about the beauty and sacredness of human sexuality and reproduction.

    Whther or not Leila has 8 children has no impact on her ability to clearly state the Truth as preserved and protected by the Catholic Church. What's next? Only convicted felons should be allowed to sit on jury panels because they are the only ones able to "understand" crime? (By the way, I'm not comparing infertility to criminality, I just can't come up with a better metaphor.:-) )

  6. Great post. It's always good to sit back and reflect on blogging's purpose from time to time-to keep our eyes fixed on Him and not becoming distracted by the train wreck that just happened.

  7. Leila I Love your blog and I've learned so much already.
    Beckie it has got to be difficult to hear people challenging your beliefs. Thank you for being so gracious. I know how heart wrenching infertility can be as well, as we experienced it for the first 4 years of our marriage.

  8. Leila, this is so refreshing. The insanity we witnessed makes me sad. I was ver disappointed to see that it has gotten much worse this morning. :(

    Beckie, I'm glad you're here! You will love Leila! You will also learn a lot from her. She is a great teacher. Most of the women who are part of her group are women dealing with or have delt with IF. We all understand the pain and hopeless feeling. Is you poke around through some of our blog archives you can see many posts showing our despair. We may not agree with the methods of dealing with IF but we all can agree an the pain. Welcome!

  9. You are awesome, Leila! I love your blog, and I too have learned so much already!
    Beckie, welcome! :)

  10. Great post!! Love the idea of writing on scrupulosity. I think this topic often gets ignored because we're so busy trying to discuss the importance of recognizing sin and the need for Confession. But so many struggle with scrupulosity, and it can be toxic (IMHO).

  11. I look forward to your posts Leila and learning more myself. Er, I may have to comment on "why liberal logic is unassailable" but I look forward to that too.

  12. Although being a "recovering Liberal" didn't quite make me a Conservative, either...I think I got thrown clear of the entire political spectrum. ;-)

    I like your blog, Leila, I think you're especially well suited to address Catholics, especially those of us who grew up thinking that the Pope was "quaint, and a product of his generation". Good heavens.

  13. I love your blog- can't wait for more! You are going to bring many people to heaven!

  14. Thank you, guys!! :)

    By the way, you all may want to check your blogger spam folders, under "comments".... I just found out that Monica's comment never showed up, though I got it in my regular email inbox. I just now found it in blogger spam, and was able to redirect it. It is posted fifth in these comments, and if you missed it, go back and read it. I think she makes good sense!

  15. Monica - less than 4%?!! I didn't know that! sad :( We need to get crackin' with educating people I'd say! Thanks Leila for your educational blog! :)

    Where is this spam folder? I hope I have comments in there. Comments increase my self-esteem. HA!

  16. Hi Leila, I just found your blog, and I love it! I wish I had more time right now to keep exploring. I have subscribed to your posts and hope to explore (a lot) more as time allows! Peace and prayers... +JMJ+

  17. Thank you for your very educational blog! I LOVE it & you!

    I did a quick post on what the underlying arguments were in Sew's comments on my blog. I would love for you to comment!

  18. I love ya too Leila!! You're one of my all time favorite humans... even if I NEVER won any soap!

  19. Hi! I love your blog since I discovered it a few weeks ago. I have learned so much from it and also the way you question and answer.

    I am very sorry for the controversy, but at the same time we cannot deny what we consider to the Truth.

    One thing that I did not see is all the options that the Church is for. I also suffer from IF and I have found that the Church wants my cure and not just a band aid approach. Its for the very basic surgeries to the reconstructive ones , medicines, alternative medicine (most) and one of the greatest ones: adoption.

    In most 3rd world countries the Church is the largest guardian of orphans and also the largest proponent of adoption.

  20. can't wait to keep learning from you :)

  21. Leila, I've been gone from blog-world and returned to this! Amazing...amazingly awesome. I LOVE THE LITTLE CATHOLIC BUBBLE! Not only because it is logical, rational, and you have fun games and even more exciting prizes, but because this blog is authentically Catholic and teaches the TRUTH. I love it.

    And what I have found is that if you know your catholic it, love it, accept it and breath it, that you will be labeled "extreme". We are not extreme, we are more like a minority. Most catholics don't understand the faith - but we can't be mad at them. It's not all their fault. It is easy to get mad at them though, because they are the reason that people look at us and call us hypocrites. And many of them are okay with their luke-warmness and don't want to know the Truth. It is very frustrating when we are constantly defending the faith to others, and even more frustrating when we defend it to our catholic brothers and sisters. But again, it is not all their fault. The catechism of the 70's, 80's and 90's has been bad at best. Good people perhaps, but many of "us" were influenced by the secular world and the changing times, and let's admit, there have been some grave mistakes. These are lost sheep, and even the shepherds have been astray. This has caused great division, and this division is going to become even more obvious. The fact that we have catholics not only supporting but using IVF goes to show how much work we have to do. But they are not necessarily bad people, they just don't know what it really means to be catholic.

    You'll like this: while on my pilgrimage in Jerusalem, I found myself teaching my fellow pilgrims about Mary's perpetual virginity - in the Holy Land! I couldn't believe it! Several of them had no clue about it, and I was at least 30 years younger than the average! Later, one of the men said that I am being brainwashed. I agreed! I'd be more apt to call him an extremist, but the truth is that he is in the majority. He's wrong, but he doesn't know it (yet). In my amazement of the situation, I think my frustration showed, and that probably made him feel bad. Instead of being embarrassed of not knowing a basic teaching of the church, he became upset at me for pointing it out. I probably was a little (which means a lot) defensive, and I probably could have been more charitable in that conversation. But the truth is the truth. But the truth can't be accepted if it falls on deaf ears. And if those ears are closed because of I'm acting (or how I'm saying it), part of that is my fault (in this situation at least).

    You, Mrs. Leila, are a great teacher. We need more of you! This will happen in time, but we will first fall into a modern day "schism". We might get smaller, but we will be stronger. And I'm okay with that! It's like what my old priest would say: If you want to be Lutheran, be Lutheran. If you want to be Baptist, be Baptist. But if you want to be Catholic, BE CATHOLIC! And after they leave, when they want to come back, like the Prodigal Son, aching for the Eucharist, we will gladly run to meet them and bring them back in. I'm so excited!

    So please know that this Extreme Catholic is backing you up! Me, along with the rest of us in the Bubble! I LOVE THE LITTLE CATHOLIC BUBBLE! God Bless!

  22. I am particularly looking forward to your post on The Agony of Scrupulosity and also Mortal vs. venial sin.

    I have four children ages 9, 7, 4 and 20 months...and I soak up every bit of learning I can on CAtholicism to help them avoid the horrendous lack in catechesis I suffered in the 80's!!

  23. Mary- that statistic comes from the speech/transcript called "Contraception: Why not?", which is a fantastic review of the Church's position on abortion, contraception, ART, and all things sex and marriage. :-)

  24. Monica...

    I think I'm falling in love with YOU!


    Leila, I have a surprise for you on my blog...

  25. Love ya more every day, Leila! Love your teaching heart!

  26. I love it that you teach me something new every time I read your blog. Fight the good fight sister!!


PLEASE, when commenting, do not hit "reply" (which is the thread option). Instead, please put your comment at the bottom of the others.

To ensure that you don't miss any comments, click the "subscribe by email" link, above. If you do not subscribe and a post exceeds 200 comments, you must hit "load more" to get to the rest.