’21 A To Z Challenge – U

 

 

I want to believe as many true things, and as few false things, as I can.
I want my internal, mental world-view to match observed reality as closely as possible.

The wife claims that, in the last 5 or 10 years, I have become intolerant and nasty toward religion and Christianity.

I think that it’s just that I’ve been more and more exposed to people who believe – and want me to believe – religious positions based on observably false claims, and I’m just getting more chances to express my discontent.

The wife’s Catholic Father died of cancer when she was 13.  He was sick for 5 years.  His teen-aged children cared for him for a year, but he was moved to the Catholic hospital, and given palliative care for 3 years.  Hospices did not exist back then, and hospitals finally realized that they could not afford to take up space with someone who would not recover.  He was discharged, to die at home.

At the end of the fifth year, he was terminal.  Four times, the local Catholic priest had to put on his cassock, and come over in the middle of the night, to give him last rites.  The first time, he rallied.  Two weeks later, the priest was back with another serving of last rites.  Again, he rallied.  Two weeks later, the tired priest made a third late-night house-call.  Once more, he rallied, but the end was inevitable.

The wife told me that, on his final visit, the priest gave her Father, not the last rites, but

EXTRA MUNCTION

I had been exposed in my youth to Baptist, Presbyterian, United, Pentecostal and Anglican, but not much Catholic.  I knew that The Church had all kinds of rites and rituals, and amulets, and potions, and spells, but I’d never heard of MUNCTION.  I asked, “What the Hell is munction?  Why did he need any, much less, extra??  Is it some kind of herbal remedy, or an opiate to ease his suffering??”

“I don’t know, but he must have needed it, because the priest gave him some extra.”   😯

Years later, I was reading a book about a Catholic who was dying, and the priest attended him, to give him

Extreme UNCTION

noun Roman Catholic Church.
anointing of the sick.
From: unction
an act of anointing, especially as a medical treatment or religious rite.
an unguent or ointment; salve.
something soothing or comforting.

I can’t fault the wife.  Shortly after that, she left the Church because she asked questions that they wouldn’t/couldn’t answer, so she didn’t get the complete indoctrination into the arcane, magical, mystical, mythical, mumbo-jumbo.  I have talked to other people who have been Catholics all their lives, but are no better informed about the Church’s tenets and ceremonies.  From the wife’s aggressive defense, even half a century later, I don’t think that she’s shed all the propaganda, but has obvious discomfort at my criticisms and doubts.

I am strangely reminded of the ‘60s British comedy movie, Carry On Doctor, which revolves around a hospital ward, with 8 stereotypical English males.  One is the brash, loud-mouthed know-it-all, who irritates fellow patients and staff alike.  Finally, a long-suffering nurse tells him to roll on his stomach, and get up on his knees.  She is going to take his temperature rectally.

He hoists his butt into the air, and something slender, round and cool is inserted.  Almost immediately, The Matron enters the ward, and demands to know from him, why his jiggly bits are hanging out in the breeze.  He says, “Have you never seen a man having his temperature taken?”  She replies, “Yes.  Many times.  But never with a daffodil!”   😯  😳  Just go along with it, because someone who claims to have authority, tells you to do something ultimately meaningless, no matter how foolish you look in the end.

It is difficult to take Christian Apologists, and their claims and arguments, seriously, when it appears obvious that there is something going on behind their…. back, and they have no idea that it’s happening, or what it is.