Monday, December 12, 2005

One of my great uncles, Jim, is an ex-priest. His wife is an ex-nun. Another one of my great uncles was a priest until he died earlier this year. My uncle Jim has been e-mailing me stuff ever since him and I got into a conversation at my mom's wedding about politics, this shortly after Katrina. I am fairly radical but this old man, even more so. And when people talk shit about Christianity, dismiss it as right wing nonsense, I try to tell them my experience was different, but don't succeed much because my experience isn't common, but there is a radical Catholic tradition that I have always been interested in and always heard, maybe I listened for it, or wanted to hear it. But I just got an email from my uncle that has these two paragraphs:

Commentators Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and John Gibson of Fox News and Bill Donohue of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights dishonor the spirit of Christmas by grandstanding about superficial issues while undermining the true spirit of Christmas Much like the Pharisees of Jesus’ day, their focus on the language of retail advertising, and shopping itself, makes a mockery of the real Christmas message. Recent attempts targeting department store advertising, the President’s holiday greeting card and the Christmas tree outside the Capitol (yes, we agree it’s a Christmas tree) distract from the true meaning of Christmas: that Jesus Christ was born to bring good news to the poor.

“If Jesus entered a department store today, he wouldn’t be worried about whether the advertising said “Christmas” or “Holiday.” He would care if we were so stressed out about shopping that we didn’t have enough time for family and friends. The Catholic social tradition calls us to ask if Wal-mart workers and shoppers are earning a family wage, if they were able to feed their families, and take their kids to the doctor.” said Alexia Kelley, Executive Director of the Catholic Alliance for the Common Good.

I love my family so much. This e-mail made me so happy because I was feeling so lonely and so worried that my mom's phone has gone straight to voicemail for the past two nights and I have not heard back from her, imagined all these awful scenarios and wondered what I would do if something truly awful should happen, who I would call, realized that there is no one in New York that I think would understand or care enough or be that person I would trust enough, and thought to my family, and basically just imagined this worst case scenario for some reason or other. Maybe it's because I just watched two movies that deal with loneliness in some major ways, Brokeback Mountain and Klute.

Each was amazing. I will probably talk about them more soon, but because why not, because I am not tired and am not in the mood to read, I am going to make it three right now and watch What's New, Pussycat?, while not directed by him, is the first movie he starred in and wrote.

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