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Don’t be a Dick

I need to rant and since none of my family knows about this blog (except the wife, who will yell at me for posting this) I feel safe in ranting about them. This is specifically about a family member who has become religious and recently joined the Catholic Church.  We’ll call him Dick (seems appropriate).

1) We (and most of my wife’s family) recently attended Dick’s confirmation in the Catholic Church. It was 3 freakin’ hours long but we were there to support him so that’s not my issue. My issue is that at the end of the service (which did I mention was in hour 3 @ 10:00 at night) they were doing communion. Dick’s brother, a practicing Protestant, went forward to take Communion and was BLOCKED from attending communion by Dick, because he wasn’t a Catholic and therefore unable to take communion*.

He was BLOCKED from taking part in a ritual affirming the divinity of Jesus and therefore in some small part BLOCKED from his own god, simply because he was “Them” and not an “Us”. What kind of arrogant, assbaggery is involved in Dick’s thought process. He later justified it by saying he stopped his brother because of how much “reverence the Church has for communion”. Oh, that makes sense… WTF? What does that even fucking mean?

Needless to say Dick’s brother was pissed but he blew if off and chose not to make a scene during Dick’s special day (all 3 freakin’ hours of it, not sure if I mentioned that).

2) Second, another Dick story. Since I’m venting I might as well let it all out. My wife was speaking with Dick on the phone about their father. Somehow in the conversation Dick thought my wife was talking about me (little ole’ heathen Skeptigator) being depressed, instead of their father. Dick proceeds to tell my wife that he can understand why I would be depressed since I don’t believe in God and therefore don’t have any reason for living my life. He actually said that, wait, let me bold that, ok done. Again my question stands, what kind of arrogant, assbaggery is involved in Dick’s thought process?

You know, Dick, if YOU don’t have a reason to live your life without an imaginary dictator in the sky, fine. But don’t tell ME I don’t have a reason for living my life, OK?….Dick. I have a gorgeous loving wife, and 2 of the most beautiful children on the planet (that’s an actual established fact).

You can pin a lot of this arrogance and Dick-ish behavior on Dick but let’s be honest. #1 is built-in to many religions, not the least of which is the Catholic church. So in all honesty Dick was being intellectually honest in his blocking of his brother’s access to their supposedly shared god. #2 is way too common among the masses. I’ve seen this exact statement made in other places but never thought it was more than hyperbole. How naive am I? Oh and to the religious who read this, most of you don’t comment but I do get emails. Before you tell me that this is not “True Christianity” or Dick isn’t living a Christ-like life, at least, read Matthew 15:22-28. I know the apologetics and I don’t buy it for a second, a dog is dog, the translation is correct, even if you take dog = pet approach it’s still an insult showing Jesus preference was to the Jews (or again just the disciples, depending on apologetic).

 * I understand that there are rules for allowing non-Catholics to take communion, some kind of blessing or something, either way, it’s not the point.

ETA: Credit for the updated title goes to hoverFrog.

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Filed under: Atheism, Religion, ,

20 Responses

  1. chillinatthecabstand says:

    lol “Dick (that seems appropriate)”

    You should show “dick” this post.

  2. chillinatthecabstand says:

    PS I’m being serious – this dude needs to read this and understand your points – I’m not just saying that cuz I’m immature.

  3. Skeptigator says:

    I’ve debated. But I have a feeling it will open a can of worms that I’m not willing to deal with.

    Writing this and posting it was a bit cathartic and I suppose that’s half the reason I do this blog.

    I do appreciate your comments, part of me thinks I making a bigger deal out of this. But even if I’m not what difference will it make. Dick won’t say, “Oh jeepers I was a big meanie wasn’t I?”

    No, in this family, I will hear about this for years, this family doesn’t EVER let something be forgotten and then they move on.

  4. Yeesh…I’m sorry you had to experience that stuff, man.

    How did Dick’s brother react?

    I’ve been sitting here for literally 5 min trying to figure out what I REALLY want to say. Knowing that I’ll prob say something that I’ll end up regretting, I’ll just stop now. 🙂

  5. Skeptigator says:

    His brother sat back down and looked at me and said, “Dick says I can’t take communion here because I’m not Catholic, I’ve taken communion in other people’s churches before, I don’t get it”. He was pissed, he has a “look” when something bothers him. He actually sat quietly for the rest of the service.

    Later on, my wife told me to cheer him up because his bad mood was beginning to become obvious. So I joked about how the bathrooms and drinking fountain were for the Catholics and the Protestants have a bucket and a garden hose out back. And I played with the basket of plastic fetuses, he pretended to eat one and said, “You’d think it would taste like chicken, but it doesn’t” Which was hilarious, and then some old lady glared at us, which made the whole thing even funnier. Then my wife made us go outside because we were having too much fun.

    I sort of took the “show respect, get respect” approach, of which, Dick showed none and has received none. I actually think less of him as a person now.

  6. I’ve never even heard of a church limiting communion to THEIR religion only.

    I know it’s cliche, nowadays, but that’s one of the reasons that I hate religion.

    I’ll take it one step further: what if (and try to put yourself in the shoes of a Christian here) it was Dick’s brothers first time at church? What if he had just decided to give this Jesus thing a go? Then, after he’s accepted Christ (maybe he prayed silently during service), he goes up to take communion and gets blocked. Sigh…

    I heard another story about a church that asks all it’s first time guests that don’t call themselves Christians to stand up and identify themselves. Then, as these guests are standing, the rest of the congregation remains sitting while they sing “Thank God that we’re a part of the Kingdom” or something like that.

    Talk about alienation!

  7. I understand the reverence of communion. I understand a church, as many do, limiting communion to believers only. But isn’t a Christian a Christian? Apparently not, according to some people.

    Whatever. All I can do is be the difference. This is the kind of crap that keeps me awake at night time

  8. Skeptigator says:

    Bill,
    I appreciate your comments, and I know you definitely don’t think this way. And for the most part my interactions with the religious crowd are positive or neutral. But it’s shit like this that seems to give a small peak into the “real” motivations of people and how they use religion as a weapon. Denying access or in your example humiliation or ridicule; I see these as abnormal behavior that goes more to proving the rule.

    I mean Dick knows his brother believes in God and goes to church so why block him?

    I mean, let’s be honest, if Dick blocked me. Ok fine, he’s just stopping me from backwashing in the communal cup, he knows where I stand but blocking his Christian brother (in both senses of the word)? Isn’t THEIR religion Christianity? I suppose one is the True Christian and the other isn’t.

  9. Skeptigator says:

    Looks like we crossposted and said the same thing? That’s funny.

    Don’t you find it scary that you think a little bit like me 😉
    Or wait, is it that I think like you 😀 😦

  10. Skeptigator says:

    You know what they say, “Christianity would be a great religion if it weren’t for all the Christians”

  11. But it’s shit like this that seems to give a small peak into the “real” motivations of people and how they use religion as a weapon.

    Yeah, some people do that.

    I suppose one is the True Christian and the other isn’t.

    I struggle with this one every day. There are people who I want to literally punch for calling themselves Christians. What makes me so much better than her? Why does grace apply to me and not her? Is there really such thing as a “True Christian,” or are we all just a bunch of hacks in need of grace?

    Sorry, I know I’m being quite Christian on an atheist’s website. Maybe just a bit of revenge 😉

  12. Don’t you find it scary that you think a little bit like me

    Nah, man. Seriously. I just believe in the whole Jesus deal.

  13. Skeptigator says:

    You can be Christian here anytime, unlike SOME* people, I won’t block your access to my blog (or your god).

    I told Dick’s brother that if he really wanted to say a prayer over some wine and a cracker he could come back to my house.

    Yea, speaking of being an a-hole, I kind of deserve the revenge. I randomly spammed your blog with a slam. I/You should probably delete it in case it derails the conversation away from what you wanted to get. You know us atheists can’t help but jab at the Xians.

    * I’m looking at you Dick.

  14. hoverfrog says:

    I really like the phrase “arrogant assbaggery” and intent to dedicate my life to seeing it used more often.

    I think your sad tale if Dickishness is a fine example of someone following the religion (the rituals and structure of the faith) above the message of the faith itself. The message being something that each generation interprets for itself but generally considered to be something like “treat everyone in a way that you would like to be treated” or “don’t be a dick”

  15. Skeptigator says:

    You know I was too busy patting myself on the back for coming up with the pseudonym of Dick that I didn’t even think about naming this post, “Don’t be a Dick”.

    I think I’ve come to a point where I realize that Dick’s behavior was exactly what you said, “following the letter of the law, not it’s spirit.”

  16. Skeptigator says:

    Actually I’m going to rename, I wonder what will happen to WordPress. I’ve never renamed an article before.

  17. hoverfrog says:

    The name change worked wonderfully. You’d never know if it wasn’t for the comments about changing the name…except the url remains the same. Oh you could have fun with that.

  18. Skeptigator says:

    It was really easy, WordPress also you gives an option to change the URL as well but I chose not to do that.

  19. Skeptigator says:

    I was just thinking about those boys of mine.
    You can see a fatter version of me and my two boys here. I know, I know, I get the “You look like Brad Pitt thing all the time.”

    http://skeptigator.com/2007/07/08/lemons-for-mr-wizard/

  20. Maria says:

    Unfortunately this kind of thing is common in the Catholic church. being a Catholic turned agnostic, I know it too well. I wish I could tell you this is an isolated incident, but it isn’t. Good luck to you in dealing with “Dick” (lol, love the name choice).

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