Friday, March 10, 2017

Pagan Weddings

A priest I knew years ago referred to non-Catholic weddings as "pagan weddings".  I remember the phrase caught my attention and I found his perspective on the matter quite refreshing.  When I was younger I attended wedding ceremonies that were performed outside the Church.  I also attended my uncle's wedding ceremony even though he had given up his Catholic faith for the relationship.  Going to "weddings" is really the easy part - it's not going that can be very difficult.

The first wedding I intentionally skipped was my closest aunt's.  She was protestant when she married my uncle but after they divorced we were still very close.  She went on to convert to Catholicism which made it difficult when she decided to marry again, but outside of the Church.  Since the ceremony was to be at the reception hall I did not go or send a gift.  She didn't question me why and so I didn't tell her.

Next was a close friend who was raised Catholic but had joined a fundamentalist protestant religion.  This was very painful because he had actually been in my wedding a few years earlier.  His bride-to-be was a non-religious former Catholic who desired her homosexual friend to be in the wedding too of course.  He knew I wasn't going to be comfortable with the wedding but he was stunned I did not even want to attend.  I offered to be there for him at the reception but it was rebuked.  The friendship ended.

Now my brother-in-law who is not Catholic wants to marry a divorced fallen-away Catholic in an outdoor wedding/reception ceremony and expects not only his sister to attend but her husband and children - oblivious to the moral conflicts that exist.  For me if it's not a Catholic wedding it's a pagan wedding ceremony.  Catholic teaching is very clear about what constitutes a valid wedding for baptized Catholics.  Perhaps if more people understood Catholic teaching on marriage?  Explaining it hasn't helped yet.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Too Rigid For Television?

Within the past 10 years or so television has declined to a state of almost complete immorality.  A large percentage of content is now pushing the homosexual agenda including kid shows.  The problem is not just on cable, the same garbage is found on broadcast networks.  News reports, sports commentary, even the commercials are full of the same filth.  

In my household we have 2 televisions connected to a rooftop antenna and Nintento Wii game systems that provide easy access to Netflix and other streaming media.  The rooftop antenna captures about 30 channels of HD content from the local broadcast networks.  Children are not allowed to turn a TV on without parental consent and continuous supervision.

Most of the time the TVs are off in the house but they are on for video games, streaming content, and occasionally broadcast network news or other programming.  While this is not a perfect solution it is one that works for my family given the pervasive immoral content.  In this way I am able to teach my children about the content which they will surely be exposed to elsewhere. 

So I am not "too rigid for television" but I do believe it can be dangerous.  Sadly it is no more dangerous than what kids might experience in public.  For those who have decided to eliminate television I understand, but I do not agree with the sagacity of keeping their children away from families that allow TVs.  I knew kids who grew up without a TV in their home and it did not prevent them from spiritual harm as adults.