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Oh fer…….nominally Catholic girl fasts for ramadan August 4, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, sickness.
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“I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt have no strange gods before me……”  Apparently, that bit of Catholic trivia might not be dwelled on too deeply at an Oregon………sigh………Catholic high school, where student Jordan Pahl, who has decided not be confirmed in the Church, decided to fast for ramadan in multi-culti observance of her friend’s (superior?) religion:

For a month last year, Jordan Pahl, 16 at the time, awoke each day before sunrise. She dragged herself out of bed at 4 a.m., trudged down the stairs and grabbed an apple or yogurt out of the refrigerator. It was to be her last bit of sustenance before nightfall.

Jordan was fasting for Ramadan, the ninth month in the Islamic calendar, during which Muslims abstain from eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset.

But Jordan isn’t Muslim; she’s Catholic. She chose to fast with her Muslim friend, Dahlia Bazzaz.

[Admin note – I had a larger excerpt, but the NAZIs at The Oregonian threatened to sick their lawyers on me if I didn’t reduce content.  After over 1700 posts and liberal use of the Fair Use doctrine, this is the first time I’ve been so chastised.  Pretty funny, too, because it’s the first time I’ve EVER linked to that fine NW publication.  Just goes to show, leftists are very free with your money, but they’re very protective of their own.

There was a time when Christians made fun of muslims for their wimpy fasting practices.  I will admit, I’m not a strong faster myself, some of which is related to my heart arrythmia, but some of which is just gluttony and weakness on my part.  But I at least have gained a knowledge of the great role suffering and self-denial plays, or should play, in the Catholic Faith, which goes way beyond ‘giving up candy for Lent.’  It seems doubtful this child has been given much exposure to this critical area of Catholic theology and the interior life.

So…..is this insignificant, or a telling sign of a Church in trouble, where another core aspect of the Faith has somehow escaped the attention of a child entirely educated in……ahem…….Catholic schools?  And is it appropriate for a muslim to attend a Catholic school?  Should not the Faith form an indispensable part of not just the curriculum, but the very essence of such a school?  Or is the Faith so marginalized that attending this ‘Catholic’ school poses absolutely no problem for a muslim?  From the mission statement of St. Mary’s Academy, it doesn’t seem the Faith is viewed as being all that critical: “St. Mary’s Academy, a Catholic high school for young women, provides a challenging college-preparatory education in a vibrant learning environment.  St. Mary’s, a diverse community, educates the whole person by nurturing spirituality, encouraging creativity,promoting justice, and inspiring a sense of global interdependence to prepare students for service and leadership.”

Reviewing their website, it seems pretty heavy on the lefty multi-culti aspect, don’t it?

Comments

1. toobahatif - August 4, 2011

I appreciate Jordan’s effort..
Its a great step towards knowing what Islam is about .. This could be a start.. Practicing fasting during Ramadan doesnt mean that Jordan will revert no.. not at all. But will help her know more about why Islam has ordered Muslim to fast 🙂

tantamergo - August 5, 2011

I think this comment sort of makes my point, no?

2. Mary - August 5, 2011

Pleasssseeeee. Hello parents, teachers, bishop, is anybody home???
… She’s showing obvious signs that she doesn’t know her Catholic faith, and yes, she is rebelling – she’s refusing to get confirmed. The school is failing all of these children. This is another example of why the Catholic Church is losing more and more people to other denominations.

Once again, here’s a so-called ‘Catholic’ school that ain’t.
Parents, sending your children to Catholic schools doesn’t dismiss you from teaching your child the catechism. You are still held accountable for your child’s education in the faith and you will still have to answer to God.

As to Tooba – you are muslim, and according to your ‘religion’, you are to convert. You can’t tell me Jordan’s friend isn’t trying to convert her.

And why oh why is there a practicing muslim in a Catholic school????

3. Jordan Pahl - August 8, 2011

Hello,
My name is Jordan Pahl and this article is about myself, and one of my best friends. I would just like to address some of the points made in this post and the ensuing comments:
1. First of all, I would like to comment on the implication that Islam worships a God that is not the “Christian” or “Catholic” God. The God that they worship is, in fact, the same. And even if it were not the same, I have not been praying five times a day, nor have I been doing any religious activity in terms of Ramadan other than fasting, and attempting to abstain from swearing. In summary, the God of Islam is no different than the Judeo-Christian one, and even if it were, I have not been actively worshipping it in any capacity.
2. Secondly, I would just like to point out the absurdity of the following: “multi-culti observance of her friend’s (superior?) religion.” There was no reference anywhere in the article to any sort of competition between Dahlia and myself in terms of whose religion is better. Honestly, both of us feel that there are parts of our religions that we disagree with, and parts that we very much appreciate. Just because we agree or disagree with individual parts does not at all mean that we are condemning our respective religions, or admitting that the other is better.
3. Next, I would like to simply point out a factual error. At the end of the article in red, there is a comment that reads, “anyone care to bet that this month of ‘engagement’ featured a great deal of America-bashing?” Actually, no, it did not. In fact, I was, in a way, expecting that, but you would not believe how much people love America. These students were from three former Soviet countries (Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan) and Pakistan. I thought, going into the program, what you thought; that these international students – especially those from Pakistan – would resent the United States and would be very vocal about it. One of the first things that one of the Pakistani students told me was, “The United States has helped Pakistan so much, and I just want to thank you for that.” When he saw the look on my face, he followed-up; “No, really. Speaking as a person living in the country, I can tell you that the United States has helped us so much. Thank you.” We were even there for the Fourth of July, and you would not believe how excited everyone was, carrying around American flags on the National Mall, whistling at the fireworks, and congratulating every American they saw, simply because it was Independence Day. If you have never spent an Independence Day with people from countries who have been independent for less than twenty years, you should. It is a wonderfully positive experience.
4. When the author of the article condemns me for my “wimpy fasting practices,” he is missing one key part of my story, which I briefly mentioned earlier; I am in no way suggesting that Islam or their fasting practices are better or worse than those of Catholicism. What I appreciated about the philosophy of Ramadan was that it really helps you to examine the way you live. Honestly, I have never really observed Lent to its full capacity, but that doesn’t make my Lenten experiences any less than the next person’s. The whole purpose of Ramadan is to understand the plight of those who have no food and have no water for an entire month. Whether or not you agree with the philosophy of Islam, you have to admit that understanding the situation than those less fortunate than yourself is an honorable mission.
5. I would next like to address the accusation that my Catholic education has somehow failed me, that in some way I go to a simply nominally Catholic school because it allows people of other faiths to attend. It is true that my school is less Catholic than others. At fifty percent Catholic and fifty percent “other,” we are heavy on what the writer of this article calls “the multi-culti” aspect. However, keep in mind that fifty percent “other” encompasses other branches of Christianity. We have a required religion class every semester. The classes range from Introduction to Religious Studies to Comparative Religions to Theology to Ethics, which is a class almost entirely based on the Catholic moral code. We have a required Mass once every month that every student in the school (yes, even the non-Christians) are required to attend, and they are expected to stand and sit at the appropriate times, and be generally respectful. To my knowledge, we have never had a situation in which a non-Catholic or non-Christian student has been openly disrespectful during a service. Why is this? It is because this “lefty multi-culti” aspect of my school that you condemn does not only go one way. We are not taught to embrace Eastern religion and disregard our own; we are taught that different and even opposing belief systems are worth examining, not only for the insight they provide into other people’s lives and traditions, but for the way that they can help us understand our own culture better. Blind observance of anything is not true understanding. My understanding of Islam and Buddhism and Judaism and Hinduism has helped me better appreciate Catholicism because, to be honest, when Catholicism was all I knew I really didn’t care for it that much. It is my understanding of other people’s beliefs that has really helped me appreciate my own.
6. To tantamergo’s comment on toobahatif’s, I really don’t understand how her appreciative comment makes your negative point. If you could please explain, that would be much appreciated.
7. To the last comment by Mary: there are a few points in your comment that I would like to address. First of all, yes, I did not get confirmed in the Catholic Church. Why? Because at the point in my life when that was expected, I felt like it would be an empty experience. I did not feel like I really had enough appreciation at that time in my life for the Church to have a full and positive experience. I have every intention of going through Confirmation, sophomore year just was not the right time for me personally. Second of all, it was my idea to do Ramadan, not Dahlia’s. She is not trying to convert me. She made the initial, somewhat joking suggestion that I should try it. I honestly wasn’t going to do it, until a few days before. Dahlia was away on a trip, and I was thinking about it, and decided that it would be a really good experience. She didn’t think I would do it, but I did. Mary, it is completely unnecessary to put the word “religion” in quotation marks when referring to Islam. Admitting that other religions exist in no way diminishes the validity of your own. I think I have, at this point, adequately addressed the issue of a non-Catholic at a Catholic high school.
If you have any more questions or concerns or would simply like to tell me what a bad Catholic I am, feel free to email me at jordanpahl@gmail.com.

tantamergo - August 8, 2011

I appreciate your commenting here, but I come to this reply feeling less snarky but perhaps even more concerned. First, you treat islam as a benign other, but it is not, it is a religion that has always been implacably hostile to Christianity (and Judaism, and hinduism, etc, but especially Christianity). That does not mean that individual muslims are always hostile, but the general trend both historically and of late is not a good one. That you have a muslim friend is not problematic, but embracing the practices of that other religion, while ostensibly being formed in the Catholic faith, strikes me and many others as odd. Do you now fast much more thoroughly for Lent? If not, why can you work up more energy and passion for this other religion than you can for your Christian Faith? I should not have to remind that muslims are murdering Christians in large numbers every day, and for no other reason than for the fact that the ‘tolerant’ islam is not tolerant, but muslims are called on to wage holy war against all those who reject their faith. Christians are killed by Muslims simply because they are Christian. Dhimmi status can be revoked at any time, and this religion founded by a man of hideous perversions can and has always waged incessant wars of aggression against Christians throughout its history. Can you not see how embracing the foundational period of abstinence of this implacably hostile religion, in contradiction to your admitted laxity in observing Catholicism, would more than raise eyebrows? For history, I suggest reading Volumes 2, 3, and 4 of the ‘Christendom’ series by Dr. Warren Carroll.

I take issue that allah is the same god as the God of Catholicism or Judaism – it most assuredly is not. Islam would like to proclaim that, since Mohammad lifted many beliefs for the religion he created (man-made) from the Jewish and Christian communities in Arabia, but islam (submission) is fundamentally different in terms of the practice of virtue, the acquisition of holiness, and even its view of the after-life (entirely human in conception, and filled with prurient delights). It is not the same religion, it is not the same God. Islam specifically rejects the Triune God of Christianity – how can it possibly be the same God? They feel Jesus was not the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, they feel that He was just a man, an inferior prophet to Mohammad. There is no room for the Holy Spirit in islam. Again…..how is this the same?

And that gets to the crux of my post. Snark aside, for I did not know if this was a flippant attention grabbing act on your part or one taken with serious intent , it is profoundly disturbing to see that a young person who has attended Catholic schools for most or all of her education has, or until recently had, a……..limited…….understanding of the Faith. Well, we all do to some extent, no one will ever “figure God out,” but to miss the fact that the God of islam and the God of Christianity are radically different concepts is, to me, stunning. And to allude to the fact that there are Doctrines of the Faith you reject, again, that is highly disconcerting. It is hardly a revelation to claim that there are serious deficiencies in the formation in the Faith many students receive today in Catholic schools. Books (many) have been written about this subject. And the fact that you learned that stringent fasting is a muslim concept, and not a Christian one, when it is in fact one of the pillars of the interior life in our Faith, is a bit staggering to me. But I do not blame you, I doubt that true self-denial has been much stressed in your educational experience. And such was my point.

You misunderstood me when you said that I think you have wimpy Lenten fasting habits. You do, and so do I, but what I said was that in times past, Christians lambasted muslims for their wimpy fasting practices, because Catholics would fast on Ember Days (ever heard of them?), Wed-Fri all year, during Lent, during Advent, and fasting then might mean eating part of one meal every day. It was hardcore, and yet many Catholics today (like me) find it difficult to impossible to skip two meals in a day, once or twice a year. We have lost a great deal.

So, in retrospect, I regret the snark of my post, which was done in ignorance, but not the fundamental point. I don’t think it unfair for me to say you have no idea how unbelievably rich this Faith you belong to is. This is the One, True Faith that was instituted directly by Jesus Christ. It is not comparable to islam, or buddhism, or any of the protestant sects, it is the inestimable Gift of God, the literal Mystical Body of Christ! In what other religion is one allowed to become so very intimate with their Lord and Savior that they literally get to consume Him, to turn the Almighty God into sustenance for their bodies? I came into this Faith as a convert, and I am constantly amazed and bowled over at how great a Gift it is that God has left us. Because of this, I take great exception when I see this Faith minimized, or even trivialized, especially by those in whom the great trust of transmitting the Faith to other people has been given. I would like to think that a girl given the privledge of many years of education in Catholic schools would have a great appreciation for what this Church, this Faith mean, how unique it is, how it is the only Church directly founded by God in person, ever. I think it somewhat sad you have had to look outside your faith to find some appreciation of it, but perhaps that is somewhat natural – you were born into it, but I chose as an adult to become an active, practicing Catholic (and I hope one day to be one, yet).

The first spiritual work of mercy is correction. We’re all ‘bad catholics’ to one extent or another.

Ashley Bacon - August 12, 2011

mojo this is Ashley (Bacon) I am sooooooooo proud of you!! that Mary chick who commented is crazy. At my Catholic High School La Salle, we have many muslims and people of other religions and they are accepted with open arms. you should be able to go to school where ever you like no matter what religion you are. Sending your kids to Catholic school doesnt mean that they are going there to have the schools religion shoved down their throats. They say that you are free to believe in whatever religion you want. People like that Mary lady makes me furious. Great job Jordan! I am SOO proud!!

tantamergo - August 12, 2011

You guys aren’t helping your cause.

4. Cradle Catholic - August 9, 2011

tantamergo you really need to go back and read Genesis if you think the God of Islam is not the same God. Otherwise you must also believe that the God of Judiasm is not the same God we Christians worship. We Christians have fullness of faith because we believe in the Triune God and the saving power of Jesus’ death and resurrection, but it is most certainly the same God of the Old Testament.

I applaud Jordan for her maturity in understanding that by going through the sacrament of confirmation she is make the choice, rather than her parents making a choice for her, to follow her faith as an adult. I graduated from the same high school many years ago and am very thankful for the open minded Catholic education I received. By understanding other faiths I was able to better embrace my own.

tantamergo - August 9, 2011

Islam can claim whatever it wants to claim. I can form a religion tomorrow and claim it to be descended from Abraham. I know that islam claims, and some modernist Christians even accept, that Islam springs from the line of Abraham through Abraham’s illegitimate son (which speaks volumes in itself). Theologically, there is a logical consistency in the of the understanding of God through the Judeo-Christian system – God initially revealed as a single entity, and then, in the fullness of revelation, reveals Himself to be actually a Triune God, 3 parts equally Divine and equal in substance and influence – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Islam claims that a then later revelation has God going back to being a solitary figure, and specifically rejects Jesus’ Divinity and the existence of the Holy Spirit. So, did God then change His mind and determine to go back to being a solitary God? And more than that, the theology of Christianity and Islam are completely, radically different. But later Judaism and Christianity are much more kindred in terms of outlook and understanding. Islam is really a ‘turning back of the clock’ to a view of god, and the afterlife, to a view more akin to that held by the Jews in 1000 BC or earlier, albeit sprinkled with paeans to Christian love for one’s fellow man.
God can be seen as the same ultimate God in the Judeo-Christian framework. But to claim that islam worships the same God, based on nothing more than their own claims that it is such, is really too much. Historically, Christians viewed muslims as infidels (and very, very much vice versa). Islam could claim to be the fulfillment of Judaism somewhat logically, but Christ and the revelation that flow through him wreck that position from a standpoint of theological consistency.

I think the other commenter Steve added some salient aspects on this discussion, as well. I fear that the acceptance of islam as worshipping the ‘same god’ is really more a function of misplaced ‘tolerance’ and religious indifferentism than it is grounded in reality.

5. Larkin Parker - August 9, 2011

I am a student at St. Mary’s Academy and a close friend of Jordan’s. I am Episcopalian and have been accepted into the loving and supportive community at our school as a non-Catholic student. I take great offense at Mary’s comment above. At our school, we are taught that service to those less fortunate is critical, that prayer to whatever god you pray too is healing, and that above all else we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. If you still believe that my education is in some way “failing” me as a Christian, please think again. My faith has been strengthened during my three years at St. Mary’s and I am proud to be a student there.

Additionally, I moved to Portland from Dallas, in fact most of my family lives in West Texas and we still own a ranch there. I am deeply disheartened that a fellow Southern woman would show such cruelty towards another and be so small minded.

tantamergo - August 9, 2011

Some final questions, and then a statement –

1. Would Jordan’s friend be willing to engage in the ramadan fast during Lent?
2. Has Jordan fasted for Lent like she has for ramadan?

There is no doubt that I am a traditionally minded Catholic. That means, I have a strong affinity for the Faith of our fathers, the Faith as practiced historically by Catholics. I am speaking to individuals who have been formed in a Church that has in many respects departed greatly from that Tradition. It is likely many of you have been formed by modernist/indifferentist beliefs or tendencies. When it comes to the Faith, we are speaking a completely different language. It would take a dozen or more 1000+ word blog posts for me to even lay out a framework where we could have a discussion, and even that would be skipping/missing huge parts of what I try to believe and practice. I’m not sure that further conversation would be productive.

But I recognize I have failed badly in charity. Although it probably does not seem so by this post, but the practice of the virtues is something I really do try to do on a constant basis. I fail almost as constantly, because that is my weakness. But I think there is a great problem that has been shown forth through this situation, and it is a problem that has been recognized for some time – most children educated in Catholic schools and colleges wind up leaving the Faith. Why is that?

There has been a great deal of defensiveness that the formation in the Faith provided at St. Mary’s is phenomenal. But then there are statements made that seem to equate Christianity and islam (religious indifferentism), or 1st grade catechesis to the extent that “we’re taught to love Jesus and each other.” The latter is great, it is the essence of the Faith, albeit very simplistic, but how does one actually do that? How do you love Jesus when you reject foundational aspects of His Church?

I don’t think the differences can be sorted out in a blog combox. If you are open to really exploring the Catholic Faith, I suggest reading The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis, or Rediscovering Catholicism by Matthew Kelly – probably especially the latter for the younger folks.

In the interests of charity I may close the combox, it depends how things develop.

6. Michael - August 9, 2011

To Jordan and Cradle Catholic,

I would like to point out a very important teaching of the Church that I recently learned myself: that public revelation of the Truth (with a capital “T”, meaning Jesus as the Word) of God to man is entirely, 100% contained in the Old and New Testaments. There are multiple private revelations, and Jimmy Akin talks about the difference between public and private revelation here:

http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2000/0011bt.asp .

It is especially important to me to point this out to you, even though I rarely comment on blogs like this, because recently I also hoped that some progress towards harmony between Christianity and Islam could be made because Islam claims to be a descendant of Christianity. However, this notion is myopic. Upon reading more, esp. The Everlasting Man by G.K. Chesterton, and taking some great classes at my local parish (St. Mary’s in College Station, TX), I now see that every religion worships God, but only insofar as humans are made to seek Truth. There are admirable elements in every religion, but none has the fullness of truth but ours. Furthermore, nothing more than respect for the dignity intrinsic to every human being is necessary to bring harmony to the entire world between all faiths.

For all others who disagree with me (a most amateur apologist), please correct me, so that I and others may learn.

If a certain bald teacher from my parish disagrees with anything I wrote, I have no doubt that he will straighten us all out.

7. Mary - August 9, 2011

to Larkin and others: I’m not being cruel; I’m concerned. This is the description on St Mary’s website on religious studies: “promotes a sustainable global society, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace”. This is not the Catholic Faith. A school that calls itself Catholic should be teaching the Catholic Faith and why we believe it is the one true Faith. The Catholic Faith is far richer than just loving and serving others.
The Catholic Faith is the only ONE which offers the body of Jesus through the Eucharist at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Also, the 7 sacraments instituted by Jesus, the Chair of St Peter, the Church Triumphant (the Saints), the Church Militant (those on Earth), and the Church Suffering all together making up the Communion of Saints who work together to get us all to heaven (faith and works). The early Church Fathers and many Saints have written extensively on the Faith, on Jesus, on serving others that should be taught in a Catholic school.

8. Steve Kellmeyer - August 9, 2011

Jordan

You make several statements which demonstrate that your education in both Islam and Catholicism is lacking.

1) “In summary, the God of Islam is no different than the Judeo-Christian one,”

Look here. Or here. According to Islam, God can change. According to Judeo-Christianity, God does not change.

The Muslim understanding of God is substantially different than the Judeo-Christian understanding. I don’t have room to outline all the differences, but this essay, which I wrote a few years ago, may serve to highlight some of the differences.

2) ” The whole purpose of Ramadan is to understand the plight of those who have no food and have no water for an entire month.”

That is actually NOT the whole purpose of Ramadan.
The whole purpose of Ramadan is to make one mutaqqui.
That is, the whole purpose of the Ramadan fast is to make a person Muslim. This is why Muslim countries typically impose the fast even on non-Muslims living within the country – by forbidding non-Muslims the ability to publicly eat or drink, they believe they are bringing non-Muslims closer to Islam.

You may want to do a little research on two Muslim doctrines: taqiyya (lying) and kitman. Your comparative religions course may have overlooked these teachings.

3) “The classes range from Introduction to Religious Studies to Comparative Religions to Theology to Ethics,”

Rome has already pointed out that a class in comparative religion is not instruction in the Faith. For instance, here’s a quote from JP II in Catechesis Tradendae #33 “a certain number of Bishops drew attention to what they referred to as the increasingly frequent cases in which the civil authority or other circumstances impose on the schools in some countries a common instruction in the Christian religion, with common textbooks, class periods, etc., for Catholics and non-Catholics alike. Needless to say, this is not true catechesis. But this teaching also has ecumenical importance when it presents Christian doctrine fairly and honestly. In cases where circumstances impose it, it is important that in addition a specifically Catholic catechesis should be ensured with all the greater care.”

Now, if this is true for even Christian religions, why would Islam fare any better?

4) ” First of all, yes, I did not get confirmed in the Catholic Church. Why? Because at the point in my life when that was expected, I felt like it would be an empty experience.”

As you yourself testify here, you base your understanding of faith entirely in emotion. You “felt” it would be an empty experience.

Let’s say that I had tried crack cocaine and I “felt” like it was a positive experience. Would that mean it was good?

What if I were ill and I received an antibiotic shot. Due to my hatred of needles, I “felt” nauseous afterwards. Would that mean the antibiotics were bad?

When you or I receive a sacrament, we receive God’s grace. What we “feel” about it is irrelevant. It is of absolutely no more importance than how a drug addict “feels” from a hit off a crack pipe, or how a needle-phobe “feels” about an injection.

The grace enlivens us no matter what we “feel.”

The fact that you hold your emotions in such high regard demonstrates how ineffective the Catholic catechesis at your school has been.

5) “Mary, it is completely unnecessary to put the word “religion” in quotation marks when referring to Islam.”

Actually, Mary is absolutely correct to do so.
The word “religion” comes from two Latin words “re”, meaning “again” and “ligare”, meaning “to tie together”. Something can only be “re-ligared” if there was an original break, an original sin.

The only faith tradition that accepts the idea of original sin is Christianity. Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism – no one else accepts that concept. None of the other traditions are trying to re-ligare anything. Thus, Christianity is the only re-ligare – it is the only true religion, if only because it’s the only tradition that is trying to re-ligare anything.

You can find out more about this concept here.

You might also wish to find out more about how the Catechism of the Catholic Church speaks about Muslims. Try this essay.

9. Steve Kellmeyer - August 9, 2011

Jordan,

In your response, you make several statements which demonstrate that your education in both Islam and Catholicism is lacking.

1) “In summary, the God of Islam is no different than the Judeo-Christian one,”

Look here. Or here.

According to Islam, God can change. According to Judeo-Christianity, God does not change. The Muslim understanding of God is substantially different than the Judeo-Christian understanding. I don’t have room to outline all the differences, but this essay, which I wrote a few years ago, may serve to highlight some of the differences.

2) ” The whole purpose of Ramadan is to understand the plight of those who have no food and have no water for an entire month.” That is actually NOT the whole purpose of Ramadan. The whole purpose of Ramadan is to make one mutaqqui.

That is, the whole purpose of the Ramadan fast is to make a person Muslim. This is why Muslim countries typically impose the fast even on non-Muslims living within the country – by forbidding non-Muslims the ability to publicly eat or drink, they believe they are bringing non-Muslims closer to Islam.

You may want to do a little research on two Muslim doctrines: taqiyya (lying) and kitman. Your comparative religions course may have overlooked these teachings.

3) “The classes range from Introduction to Religious Studies to Comparative Religions to Theology to Ethics,” Rome has already pointed out that a class in comparative religion is not instruction in the Faith.

For instance, here’s a quote from JP II in Catechesis Tradendae #33 “a certain number of Bishops drew attention to what they referred to as the increasingly frequent cases in which the civil authority or other circumstances impose on the schools in some countries a common instruction in the Christian religion, with common textbooks, class periods, etc., for Catholics and non-Catholics alike. Needless to say, this is not true catechesis. But this teaching also has ecumenical importance when it presents Christian doctrine fairly and honestly. In cases where circumstances impose it, it is important that in addition a specifically Catholic catechesis should be ensured with all the greater care.” (emphasis added)

Now, if this is true for even Christian religions, why would Islam fare any better?

4) ” First of all, yes, I did not get confirmed in the Catholic Church. Why? Because at the point in my life when that was expected, I felt like it would be an empty experience.” As you yourself testify here, you base your understanding of faith entirely in emotion. You “felt” it would be an empty experience.

Let’s say that I had tried crack cocaine and I “felt” like it was a positive experience.
Would that mean it was good?
What if I were ill and I received an antibiotic shot.
Due to my hatred of needles, I “felt” nauseous afterwards.
Would that mean the antibiotics were bad, empty of usefulness?

When you or I receive a sacrament, we receive God’s grace. What we “feel” about it is irrelevant. It is of absolutely no more importance than how a drug addict “feels” from a hit off a crack pipe, or how a needle-phobe “feels” about an injection. The grace enlivens us no matter what we “feel.” The fact that you hold your emotions in such high regard demonstrates how ineffective the Catholic catechesis at your school has been.

5) “Mary, it is completely unnecessary to put the word “religion” in quotation marks when referring to Islam.”

Actually, Mary is absolutely correct to do so.

The word “religion” comes from two Latin words “re”, meaning “again” and “ligare”, meaning “to tie together”. Something can only be “re-ligared” if there was an original break, an original sin. The only faith tradition that accepts the idea of original sin is Christianity. Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism – no one else accepts that concept. None of the other traditions are trying to re-ligare anything. Thus, Christianity is the only re-ligare – it is the only true religion, if only because it’s the only tradition that is trying to re-ligare anything.

You can find out more about this concept here.

You might also wish to find out more about how the Catechism of the Catholic Church speaks about Muslims. Try this essay.

10. Kate - August 9, 2011

The point of Ramadan is to experience empathy for those living in hunger, it seems that I need to remind you that this is something Jesus himself did many times throughout the gospel. In addition the entirety of his life, not to mention death, was spent teaching tolerance and unconditional love of ALL people. Clearly you are the one in need of a stronger Christian education.

tantamergo - August 9, 2011

” In addition the entirety of his life, not to mention death, was spent teaching tolerance and unconditional love of ALL people” No, Jesus did not ‘tolerate’ all people. He did not tolerate the moneychangers and those selling animals for sacrifice in the temple, when he made a whip of cords and forced them out. He did not tolerate the Pharisees when he called them ‘whitewashed sepulchres’ and ‘wicked children of this generation.’ He did tolerate hypocrisy. He did tolerate those who sinned, but he also gave the stern admonition – “go and sin no more.” The picture you present of Jesus is a caricature, a culturally contrived presentation that reduces Jesus down to a vehicle to advance a particular cultural/political view. Jesus called on all of us to take up our cross and follow him, to willingly embrace suffering and self denial, to love God with our whole hearts and minds and souls and, through that love for God, then to serve, but he did not tolerate sin, and he did not always act from a standpoint of what I think you mean by the phrase “unconditional love,” which would confirm people in their sin, demand no change in their lives, and accept any error as truth. To that, he was actually irrevocably opposed.

You have been sold a modernist/indifferentist concept of Jesus. Next you’ll be telling me that Jesus told never to “judge” anyone.

11. Rhonda - August 9, 2011

To Kate: Amen, sister!
To Jordan: I am so very proud of you!

12. Jessie - August 9, 2011

I admire what this girl is doing. She’s showing her willingness to embrace others and to learn from people all around the world. I feel that she shows great maturity in her religious decisions, and I wish I had waited to be confirmed in the Church until I felt ready. I work as part of an interfaith council in my community, and I absolutely believe that cooperation among religions will bring the world to a more peaceful place. Jordan is contributing to religious tolerance and acceptance, and I 100% respect that. And tantamergo, you mention that Islam has historically been a hostile religion. Perhaps you should do a little research on which religion actually murdered them in hordes first, all in the name of Christ. Also, that Benjamin Franklin Summer Institute sounds pretty awesome 😉

13. Jerry Casey - August 10, 2011

Aug. 9, 2009

The Oregonian
1320 S.W. Broadway
Portland, OR 97201

Re: Copyright Infringement

To whom it may concern:

We publish The Oregonian. I am writing this letter to you in the hopes of avoiding the involvement of our lawyers.

It has recently come to our attention that you have reprinted without permission on your Web site — https://veneremurcernui.wordpress.com — an article from The Oregonian that we published on OregonLive.com.

The story “Fasting for Ramadan bonds Catholic, Muslim friends” was published online at OregonLive.com on Aug. 2, 2011 and published in The Oregonian’s newspaper edition of Aug. 3, 2011.

On Aug. 4, 2011, you published a nearly complete version of the story on your Web site under the headline “Oh fer…….nominally Catholic girl fasts for ramadan.” It can be found at https://veneremurcernui.wordpress.com/2011/08/04/oh-fer-nominally-catholic-girl-fasts-for-ramadan/

As you may or may not know, The Oregonian owns the copyright to this material.

Your unauthorized use of our material is copyright infringement and is unacceptable to us and we must demand that you immediately cease all use of our copyrighted materials and trademarks in any manner.

If in the future you may link to any of our stories from your Web site after running an excerpt — two paragraphs or less — of the news item. Items currently posted have no expiration time.

Please respond to me with assurance that you have removed our article from your Web site, or I will have to ask our attorneys to handle this.

Sincerely,
Jerry Casey
Online Innovation Editor, The Oregonian
503-294-4071
jcasey@oregonian.com

tantamergo - August 10, 2011

Hasn’t this already been settled?

http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2011/mar/18/righthaven-loses-second-fair-use-ruling-over-copyr/

I’ll change it in the morning, jerko. I’ve had this blog for almost 2 years, done over 1700 posts, and linked to and lifted a lot of content, and this is the first threat I’ve received of this sort.

Leftists. Sure are free with other people’s money, but treat their own like Midas.

14. Every generation turns its back on God in its own way « A Blog for Dallas Area Catholics - August 10, 2011

[…] From the intriguing, but also at times maddening, book Rediscovering Catholicism by Matthew Kelly, some excerpts on living an authentic Catholic life (segments from Chapter 6, “What is the authentic life?”.  I think these excerpts are especially apropos given the discussion that has gone on in the combox regarding my post on the Catholic girl fasting for ramadan: […]

15. Mary - August 11, 2011

‘…punched in the face…’…
wow, that says it all.

16. Mary - August 11, 2011

I’m not criticizing Jordan.
I’m criticizing schools that call themselves Catholic but aren’t teaching Catholic doctrine. Statistics show that many students who are educated in Catholic schools leave their Catholic Faith. That is a serious problem that is not being dealt with.

17. tantamergo - August 11, 2011

Comments like this get you banned.

18. Emily Garrison - August 11, 2011

Like Larkin and Jordan, I am also a student at St. Mary’s Academy and I am truly disheartened by the close-mindedness that this post presents. To suggest that our school isn’t Catholic just because it accepts and promotes personal religious identity is offending and remarkably untrue. St. Mary’s provides young women with an education that stretches beyond someone telling us what to believe, it encourages us to interpret and analyze the Bible, study religious figures, and explore the texts and cultures of other world religions as well. St. Mary’s is about tolerance, and it is times like these that I have never been more proud of and thankful for my education there.

For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. John 4:20

tantamergo - August 11, 2011

Please reveiw the post. All I did was ask questions – is it appropriate for those of other faiths to attend Catholic schools, how much is the Faith really stressed at this school, etc. Based on the comments made by those who attend that school, I think those questions still stand. No one who has commented has gone into any depth on how the Faith is really lived at the school. You claim to be taught to analyze Sacred Scripture and study religious figures, but do you learn the Catholic Faith? There are serious problems with Catholic school students not learning the Faith at many, if not most, Catholic schools. There are problems with those who attend Catholic schools leaving the Faith later in life – the rate of those who go to Catholic schools and colleges leaving the Faith is over 80%. I know many people who have worked in Catholic schools, who have served as DREs at parishes, and they all state that the formation received at most Catholic schools is very poor. I am concerned that the situation at St. Mary’s is similar.

Without looking it up, do you know the six precepts of the Faith? Do you know the 3 Cardinal Virtues? Do you understand and accept the Doctrine of the Real Presence? Do you know understand and accept the role of the Primacy of the See of Peter and apostolic authority in the Church? Do you accept all the moral doctrines of the Faith (like the universal requirement to support the sanctity of life, including opposing abortion, contraception use, homosexual acts, homosexuals simulating marriage, divorce and remarriage, fornication, use of porn, etc.) No one who has commented here in defense of this school has gone into any detail whatsoever. There isn’t even any logical reasoning, it’s just bald assertions of your opinion as fact.

Miss Garrison, I think you’re mistaking sentimentality for love. That is a massive problem in today’s culture – many think the Church is wrong to insist that gays cannot be married (in spite of numerous Biblical denunciations of homosexual acts), for instance, and claim that to deny gays this ‘right’ is somehow unloving. ‘Loving’ someone does not mean accepting unconditionally anything they want to do. In fact, the Church is loving gays more by trying to get them to see the constantly held belief of the Church – that we are all called, by Christ, to be chaste throughout our lives and that homosexual acts are intrinsically unchaste, therefore making acceptance of ‘gay marriage’ impossible from the outset. The same goes for institutions. Catholic schools are required, canonically, to form the children educated there in the Faith. St. Mary’s may give a nice, well rounded liberal arts type education, or it may not, but I haven’t seen anyone post a systematic exposition on how St. Mary’s supports and proclaims ALL the Truth Christ has revealed through His Church.

Why does this matter? Because, being a convert to the Faith as an adult, and having a great conversion some years ago, I believe with all my heart and all my soul that the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church is the sole repository of all of Divine Revelation – that Truth Christ has revelaed. To not learn this Faith in its fullness in a Catholic school is a great tragedy, and far too many youths in Catholic schools are not learning it. I want what is very best for each person, which the Spirit has revealed to me is active and vibrant understanding of, and participation in, the Catholic Church. All others are quite distant seconds, at best, if not actually contrary to growing in the Faith Christ established. Do you believe that? Do you believe that the Cathoilc Church has the fullness of Truth, and is the best (and possibly only) vehicle for our personal and collective salvation? I do, as fully as I can at this state in my life.

19. Erin - August 12, 2011

tantamergo, open your mind a little. the Bible did not arrive by fax from heaven, and to believe that every existing doctrine of the Catholic Church comes directly from the mouth of God is nothing less than absurdly foolish. no religion is perfect, and learning about the teachings of another religion is the best way to learn about the negatives and positives of your own. Jordan’s observance of Ramadan was nothing more than this. her friend Dahlia was not trying to convert her, and was not even being serious when she made the initial suggestion that Jordan observe Ramadan. blindly following every institution of the Catholic Church is fulfilling Marx’s idea that “religion is the opium of the people”. constructive questioning is an excellent way to strengthen faith, even being taught in Jesuit institutions, and in no way was observing Ramadan out of respect for a friend and her religion destructive to Jordan’s faith.
and, additionally, your ignorant insistence that all Oregonians, or all non-Catholics, or whatever your target of choice, are leftist ‘Nazis’, is as foolish and simple-minded as if someone said that you were nothing but a gun-toting anarchist right-winger.
finally, the fact that you apparently have nothing better to do than criticize a teenage girl’s attempt to be open-minded is pretty pathetic. I suggest getting yourself a hobby, or maybe a day job

tantamergo - August 12, 2011

I may have to do a post on this statement, it is so blindingly incorrect: “the Bible did not arrive by fax from heaven, and to believe that every existing doctrine of the Catholic Church comes directly from the mouth of God is nothing less than absurdly foolish.”

Are you Catholic? The fact that ‘jesuit institutions’ are teaching heresy is no surprise – the order needs severe reform. This is not what St. Ignatius intended.

“finally, the fact that you apparently have nothing better to do than criticize a teenage girl’s attempt to be open-minded is pretty pathetic. I suggest getting yourself a hobby, or maybe a day job”

I write 25 or more posts a week. This girl and her school happened to be the topic for one. Don’t think so highly of yourself, if you commenters woudl stop coming from Facebook I would have forgotten about this days ago. And, yes, I have a day job, and a night one, too, thanks.

Erin - August 12, 2011

You seem to be under the impression that you alone know the will of St. Ignatius. I daresay that members of the Society of Jesus, who have spent years studying the teachings of St. Ignatius, St. Francis Xavier, St. Peter Canisius, and others, would know a bit more than an independent blogger from the middle of Texas who, as your previous comment would have readers believe, is very busy doing things besides criticize others’ interpretations of the Catholic faith.
Additionally, I would be interested to hear your argument that the Bible did in fact arrive by fax from heaven. I was under the impression that there were no fax machines around at the time, but you seem to love acting like you know more about the Faith than anyone else, so please, inform the world.
And yes, I am Catholic, but that is irrelevant

tantamergo - August 12, 2011

As I said in another post, this is likely pointless. Suffice it to say, for centuries the belief was Extra Ecclesia Nulla Salus. Certainly, many of the great Saints believed thus. St. Catherine of Siena, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, etc, accepted without question the Faith handed on to them and the guidance of properly constituted authority. They certainly believe the Scriptures contained the inerrant Word of God, and they did not look outside the Faith for answers. The same applies to every other Saint I can think of, including the great St. Ignatius. Sadly, the order he founded has fallen a very long way. The stories about the problems in the Jesuits are heartbreaking, which is why they are in the express lane to demise.

It is tragic that you do not know, or do not accept, that Sacred Scripture, viewed in the light of Sacred Tradition, is considered by the Church (not just me) to be the literal Word of God.

I would hazard there are many beliefs of the Church you do not accept. Would you answer a few questions? Do you accept Church Doctrine on…….

contraception?
divorce and remarriage?
the sanctity of life from conception to natural death?
Papal supremacy?
fornication (sex outside marriage being always wrong)?
masturbation and porn use?
the homosexual lifestyle and gay marriage?
the universal call to chastity?
the Real Presence?

Erin - August 12, 2011

I think you misunderstood my point. It is not the case that I do not believe that the Bible is the Word of God, but I believe it is the Word of God as interpreted by man. One must realize that mistakes have happened, and more are possibly in existence. For example, an etching of St. Jerome translating the Bible by German artist Albrecht Dürer contains a hidden reference to a mistranslation made by Jerome. It was also discovered a few years ago that a mistake was made when translating initial versions of Exodus, and that the ‘Red Sea’ was actually mistranslated, the intended words being ‘reed sea’, which is believed to refer to a small freshwater inlet in the same geographic area. Additionally, one must take into account the different portrayals of Jesus in the Gospels, such as Mark’s portrait of the Suffering Savior contrasted with Luke’s Teaching Savior. If only one Gospel was known, then many would accept that unquestioningly as the correct image of Jesus, without thinking that other interpretations of Him could exist. I believe that each portrayal of Jesus contains truth, but that no one Gospel, or, indeed, all of the Gospels combined, displays the complete picture of Jesus.

As for my thoughts on those particular Church doctrines, I agree with some, disagree with some, and question where I stand on others. This does not make me any less of a Catholic.
Also, I am sincerely interested in your belief that constructive questioning of faith is actually detrimental to faith, would you mind explaining that?

tantamergo - August 13, 2011

The Church does not believe that every single word of Sacred Scripture must be taken literally and held with divine assent. That is why we have a Magisterium, the Pope and bishops in union with him (and only those in union). I did not mean to apply otherwise. But some (much) of Scripture must be held with divine assent (believed with all of our heart, mind, and soul), as has been defined by the Church in dogma. So, John 6 must be believed in its intent because it defines the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. Similarly John 20 for the institution of priestly, sacramental Confession. Scripture specifically declaring homosexuality offensive to God and sinful must be viewed as being the revelation of God to His Church. There are many more.

If you consciously reject one of the 413 Dogmas of the Faith, you are placing yourself outside the Church. You came into the Church at Baptism (CCC 782). But since conscious rejection of a defined dogma (and all the questions I asked previously were questions of dogma) wounds the Body of Christ (His Church – CCC 817) and is a rejection of the revealed Truth of God held as part of Sacred Deposit of Faith – known as heresy (CCC 2089). Obedience is the first obligation of faith. You have stated that you have considered, and rejected some Dogmas – that puts you in a manifest state of grave sin. All dogmas must be held with divine and catholic faith – please reconsider your positions on these issues. I would not doubt that you have been told that the ‘primacy of your individual conscience’ allows you to reject some parts of the Faith. This is false and is a grave error sadly propagated by some religious orders and others. Such selectivity is actually a symptom of modernism and indifferentism, both condemned heresies, and could indicate a soul oriented towards a religious cult of man, and not the cult of God. Again, it is fashionable in some quarters today too claim that Catholics can, in good conscience, reject part of the Sacred Deposit of Faith – this is false, and condemned as heresy in Pascendi Gregori Domini by Pope St. Pius X. Please, I really beg you, reconsider your acceptance of these Dogmas. I know it is hard. There are areas I struggle with, but I strive to accept all with my whole heart. I am, however, a most wretched sinner. I don’t ask you to reconsider because I want to score points – you are a soul created in God’s image and incalculably precious. There is so much more peace and Grace one when relents,stops listening to the culture, and accepts God’s Will as revealed through His Church.

All for now. I’m writing on a laptop that my 2 yr old son ripped a bunch of keys off. Typing is a nightmare.

Maybe more later.

God bless you!

tantamergo - August 13, 2011

Oh, and for the record and in reply to your ad hominem assertions, I’m 39 y/o, married with 6 children alive and one in Heaven, I work in telecommunications as a mechanical engineer and have so worked for 15 years. I also teach faith formation classes 1 or 2 nights a week much of the year, and am on a secular radio station 1 night a week discussing issues related to the Catholic Faith. In addition, I do woodworking and sell religious articles and furniture. I also generally try to assist at Mass 5-6 days a week plus prayer, Adoration, Rosary, Chaplet, and religious reading every day.

I’m also excessively prideful.

tantamergo - August 12, 2011

Oh, and I called the Oregonian NAZI’s, because they take a very narrow interpretation of the Fair Use doctrine, which allows non-profit blogs and other sites like mine to use, freely, material from other sources, even copyright material, so long as we give proper attribution. As I pointed out in another reply in this comment thread, recent court rulings have shown that the Oregonian’s interpretation is unconstitutional and violates Free Speech – hence, the reference to NAZIs. Not the fairest reference, but I was mad.

20. Comments reveal the poor state of formation in Catholic schools « A Blog for Dallas Area Catholics - August 12, 2011

[…] I posted last week about a…….<sigh>…………Catholic girl fasting for ramadan.  Ho-boy has that generated some interesting, and disheartening, comments, from her friends, […]

21. NCCatholic - August 12, 2011

I think we should take into consideration, sadly, where this school is, Oregon. Is this not one of the most liberal minded states where anything goes? Do you really think you would find a school like this in many other states? I was brought up in a catholic school, even though I was a different religion, and chose to convert to Catholicism after high school. I continue to be a practicing catholic even though I do not attend mass every week. Catholicism has played a strong role for me while I was growing up. I am thankful to have had it. Being brought up in the Catholic school, I never felt pressure to convert but was very interested in learning more about the religion and attended mass 3 times a week minimum in grade school. I think that the fact that she did not chose to be “confirmed” because she felt it was an empty experience for her, is that true or is that because it didn’t fit into her schedule because it required effort? People like to take shortcuts and the Catholic church doesn’t let those just be confirmed…they have to attend the classes, there are no shortcuts, so which is it? Empty experience or don’t want to really put forth the effort?

tantamergo - August 12, 2011

That’s a reasonable comment. I am certainly painting with a broad brush. There are a number of good Catholic schools out there. My concern is that the denizens of this particular school don’t indicate a strong formation in the Faith,which ties in with the ramadan exercise.

God bless!


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