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Posts Tagged ‘Catholicism’

She and her exes live in Texas

Posted by Andy Welfle on January 2, 2009

Marquis LaFortune and Benjamin Stakes

Benjamin Stakes and Marquis LaFortune

Score one for the Catholics. A Catholic high school teacher was fired for getting divoriced.

The reason for her termination turns on a theological tenet. According to Catholic doctrine, participants in a marriage must be an unmarried man and an unmarried woman. LaFortune told the principal that her fiance had been divorced – a proceeding not recognized by the Catholic Church.

The deacon was concerned with whether the first marriage of LaFortune’s fiance, Benjamin Stakes, had been declared invalid by a Catholic tribunal and thereby annulled. His concern, however, did not sit well with LaFortune, who refused to resign from her job or seek an annulment – a process that could reach to Rome and take more than a year.

It’s no secret the Holy See has a problem with change. They didn’t officially apologize for the imprisonment of Galileo until 1992. Hell, I remember when girls couldn’t be servers (altar boys). So the fact that they refuse to recognize divorice isn’t surprising.

And true, since over half of all marriages end in divorice, some of them should never have been married in the first place. But divorice protects people every day. It saves peoplel from spousal abuse, rape, exploitation, and even suicide. None of this matters to the Vatican — they live in a black and white world, with no room for exceptions.

No wonder their numbers are rapidly declining. They need all the teachers they can get.

Posted in Religion | Tagged: , , | 5 Comments »

From altar boy to atheist: a coming out story

Posted by Andy Welfle on September 13, 2008

The Author

The Author

Hello, my name is Andy Welfle, and I’m an atheist.

This is my “coming out” story — how I transformed from a good Catholic boy who had dreams of becoming a priest, to the skeptical, cautious person I am today. Sit back, because, well, I can be loquacious at times, and I have a lot to say about this.

Like so many freethinkers in my generation, I went through a full decade in Catholic school — 12 years if you include pre-school and kindergarten. I credit that for my current worldview. I wound up going to Catholic school for a number of reasons. Primarily, though my mother taught at a different Catholic school, and although I can’t speak for her, I think she was caught up in the parochial agitprop that they were the last good, safe schools. Public schools are evil, rough badlands that make kids click up and join a gang to survive. Private, secular schools were too expensive for a good Catholic family, so the diocesan schools were about it.

(Since then, my mother has left the Catholic school system, and my sisters are happy in Fort Wayne Community Schools. They’ve never been mugged, raped, or otherwise maimed.)

Most of my elementary school life was spent in oblivious, pious bliss. I announced in third grade that I wanted to be a priest, and the pastor of the church thought it was great. I was a server (altar boy), and like everyone else in my class, I went to mass twice during the week, and then with my family on Sunday. It’s a wonder we ever learned anything.

Pedophile priest jokes aside, I remember the pastor (head priest) fondly. He was an intelligent, well-spoken guy, and except for the fact he took the vows and became a priest, he’s a respectable guy — he would never do anything like those priests you hear about in Boston.

I never had a problem in school, until eighth grade, when we had a letter sent home from our teachers saying that next week, we were going to have a special 2 hour session about sexual education. The letter said if parents didn’t want their kids to participate, please sign and return. My parents, being the liberal and educated people they are, didn’t have a problem with that.

So next Tuesday, the boys in the grade went to one classroom, and the girls went to another. I don’t know who led the discussion for the girls, but our pastor talked to us boys. That’s when I realized, “What could this dude, someone who pledged in front of God and everybody never to have sex, what could he possibly teach us about our sexuality?”

Please click through to read the rest below the fold.

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Posted in FreeThought | Tagged: , , | 112 Comments »