I found out this weekend that my level of being a bad Catholic has escalated. I am so bad, I'm likely going to hell because I can't say I'm sorry.
What did I do?
Have you ever heard of a mortal sin? I'm sure many of you have. I found several definitions of a mortal sin, one of which comes from EWTN: "A serious, grave or mortal sin is the knowing and willful violation of God's law in a
serious matter, for example, idolatry, adultery, murder, slander." That's heavy stuff, you know?
Well, according to the Catholic Church, birth control (including sterilization) is also a mortal sin. I knew this and I'm pretty sure you all knew this, too. So really it's no surprise and I'm just telling you something that you already know. And if you read this blog, you know that Tim went to have a vasectomy a couple of weeks ago.
Also, I tried birth control pills for 3 months way back at the start of our marriage. The little buggers gave me headaches, so I stopped taking them. But I had no qualms about taking the pills, knowing that they simply interfered with ovulation and made my uterus inhospitable (I actually do have an issue with any form of contraceptive that actively interferes with life already started.) and didn't think twice that I was sinning. The same can be said for what Tim refers to as hats (put your mind in the gutter and you'll know what these are). Sinners of the worst kind are we, right?
Well, in my mind, if we didn't use some form of birth control, then we'd likely have more children and more children would mean that I'd be overstressed and overworked and overtired and a horrible mother to each of those children, which would most likely cause issues of resentment and hostility in the lives we created. Chaos could ensue. The world could end because my children felt unloved and then unleashed those awful sentiments to others, causing a major spiral. Dramatic, yes. But you never know. And who can say which scenario -- birth control or unloved children -- is worse? (You obviously know which one I think is worse.)
So back to the whole mortal sin thing. Tim is the one that drew my attention to this next juicy morsel. In Tim's quest to find out what other sins (besides his vasectomy) actually qualify as mortal sins he found something called the marriage debt. No, it's not about money. It's about sex.
Our Lady of the Rosary Library states that the marriage debt "means that a
married person is obliged, under penalty of mortal sin, to give his (or her)
married partner sexual intercourse whenever it is reasonably asked for." There are acceptable reasons for refusing to have sex, and they are "adultery, sickness,
drunkenness, insanity, non-support, danger to an unborn baby."
So it's okay to be drunk but you can't tell your partner that you're too tired to have sex because you've been carting around his kids and making his life easier by cleaning and cooking and paying the bills? Hogwash, I tell you. Just hogwash.
Which all comes back to why I am a bad Catholic. I cannot accept these teachings. I just can't. It is not in my nature to think that God and Jesus and Mary and the Saints and all the wonderful people that are a part of the Catholic Church will look and me and say, "Well, she WAS a good one. But then, she asked her husband to get a vasectomy after years of sometimes saying no to sex with him. Forget about all the little things she does each day to make the world a better place. She said NO to him. Because she was tired!"
They wouldn't say this. Mary would be nodding her head in understanding and I'd like to really think that Jesus would tell me to go ahead and get some rest. Judge me all you want, all you really good Catholics. And you other people? I say that we listen to our guts and the God that we know exists (or not, if you are so inclined, considering you don't need to believe what I do) and keep living my life the way I am. I guess I'll see some of you in hell.