Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Poppy gets confirmed

Wherein congratulations and good luck

...and baptized. She writes:
I've been attending Mass at OLGC for more than five years now, and this past fall, when I realized I wasn't getting any better and might actually be getting worse, I decided to go ahead and take the plunge. Father Pat Collum, my fellow parishioners, and OLGC itself are among the few things that have made me feel that maybe I can rebuild a stable life for myself and Chris. This doesn't change who I am (Father Pat knows all about my gender/sexuality issues and has read the Liquor books; he is one of the few religious leaders I've met who seems to remember Jesus' command "Judge not lest ye be judged"), what I believe, or what I think of the way other people live their lives. If I ever say anything sanctimonious, you are all free to shoot me. This is something I am doing solely for myself, another step in my attempts to drag myself out of the dark, sucking hole created by Katrina and its aftermath. I've discussed here before how, despite my problems with certain Catholic dogma, the celebration of Mass allows me to access a peaceful place inside myself in a way that nothing else does. I need to be a part of something larger than myself, and I know this is what I need now.

She adds, in answer to a comment:
Whatever your choices, I hope they bring you happiness and peace. I can't help but also hope they don't mean you'll eventually think less of the rest of us, or abandon writing about the characters I've grown to love so ... but you come first ... you can't be anything good to anyone else if you aren't happy with yourself.

My journey to Catholicism has made me think more of other people, not less. I spent much of my twenties and thirties feeling contempt for the human race -- there were individuals I loved, of course, but overall I thought people were pretty shitty. Some of them are, but whatever has happened to me -- I hesitate to call it anything as definitive as "faith" -- has made it much easier for me to see the beauty and value in people. And if anything, I hope this step in my life will bring me back to writing about the characters I love, not push me further away from them. After all, it was G-man who got me interested in this stuff in the first place (although his situation differs from mine in that he is a lapsed Catholic who feels drawn back to the Church despite doctrinal problems, while I was not raised Catholic and initially became attracted to the faith at least in part because it was so exotic to me).

My decision to join the Church is purely about what I believe I need to do. It has nothing to do with telling other people what they should believe or how they should live. I loathe fundamentalists of all stripes. As far as I'm concerned, people who use the Church as a tool to judge and bludgeon others don't deserve to be called Christians; they're Paulists to me.

I love the Poppy Z. Brite Liquor series and ever since finding her journal a few years ago I always look forward to any new content. Lively and entertaining, respectful and profane, it was her ripping a renowned New Orleans restaurant that convinced me I needed to read her book about New Orleans' restaurants. The last couple of years have been hard on her and there have been more than a few times when reading her journal was a scary adventure. Here's hoping this helps her.


Blogger reader_iam said...

Peace be with her.

(And also with us [/our spirits].)

I will light a candle for her, as it is better to do than curse the darkness. (Something, it seems, she would understand.)

3/20/2008 03:25:00 AM  

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