A letter from a "friend"


#1

This is what I received from the SIL of our head Continuing Anglican priest about us leaving their church in favor of Catholicism. (we left because of loosey goosey morals and because we were considered "uncharitable" for talking about the evils of contraception, abortion, homosexual "marriage"-this church likes to be a social club not a beacon of light in the world of darkness)

Anyway I was wondering what you all thought of this letter from her. (or how I should take it) Our oldest daughter is 7 and very impressionable...(like most kids)

***[my husband's name], this message is coming to your page, but it's for the pair of you. If there were anything at all I could do to rescue you from this life of turmoil and judgmental hostility you seem to be determined to follow, I would do it --- and not for you two, although I actually like you both quite a bit. I'd do it for your kids. I know what it's like to be a kid in such a household. The cruelty you are willing to have toward your oldest daughter just at the moment of her most vulnerable attachments is a terrible thing, and I wish I could stop you.

I know you think you're doing what's right - standing for what's right - trying to make a difference in the world -- all of that. But, honey, if you have not love, you're a sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal. Blessed are the merciful, and "as we forgive those who trespass against us," and all the other things you also know. If you are ever ready to learn kindness and the power of mercy, you will find that it is still waiting for you. May God have mercy on you for what you're doing to your family.

I'm taking the pair of you off my friends list now - please understand why. It's not because I need to have only the pure or right kind of people around me -- it's because I have a responsibility before God to arrange my life for charity, kindness, mercy, and the like.

Good bye, and love,
S***

She sent this to my husband's facebook private mail. (probably because she's chewed me out on several occasions about calling Planned Parenthood "planned murderhood" etc. telling me I sound like a "scared little child" and how offensive it sounds) with me not replying to her attacks.

Thoughts?


#2

I guess I don't understand enough about the background. Why does this person feel that you are damaging your family by making this decision? The issues of abortion, birth control and etc. - are you expecting your child to get involved with this at her age? It seems like there is too much I don't understand. Why does this person compare your decisions to growing up in an intolerant household?

To me the tone of the message sounds frustrated, as if there might be background here that I don't understand. Beyond that it's hard to say. I know your beliefs are different from hers/theirs - that is why you say you are leaving.

edited to add: I think in a previous post you mentioned that in the past your husband has gotten pretty angry when you raised the issue of converting to Catholicism. I think you also said that lately he's calmed down and started agreeing more with you. But maybe this person knows about the disputes you've had and that relates to the turmoil that she is referencing here.


#3

[quote="defenderoftruth, post:1, topic:207340"]
This is what I received from the SIL of our head Continuing Anglican priest about us leaving their church in favor of Catholicism. (we left because of loosey goosey morals and because we were considered "uncharitable" for talking about the evils of contraception, abortion, homosexual "marriage"-this church likes to be a social club not a beacon of light in the world of darkness)

Anyway I was wondering what you all thought of this letter from her. (or how I should take it) Our oldest daughter is 7 and very impressionable...(like most kids)

***[my husband's name], this message is coming to your page, but it's for the pair of you. If there were anything at all I could do to rescue you from this life of turmoil and judgmental hostility you seem to be determined to follow, I would do it --- and not for you two, although I actually like you both quite a bit. I'd do it for your kids. I know what it's like to be a kid in such a household. The cruelty you are willing to have toward your oldest daughter just at the moment of her most vulnerable attachments is a terrible thing, and I wish I could stop you.

I know you think you're doing what's right - standing for what's right - trying to make a difference in the world -- all of that. But, honey, if you have not love, you're a sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal. Blessed are the merciful, and "as we forgive those who trespass against us," and all the other things you also know. If you are ever ready to learn kindness and the power of mercy, you will find that it is still waiting for you. May God have mercy on you for what you're doing to your family.

I'm taking the pair of you off my friends list now - please understand why. It's not because I need to have only the pure or right kind of people around me -- it's because I have a responsibility before God to arrange my life for charity, kindness, mercy, and the like.

Good bye, and love,
S***

She sent this to my husband's facebook private mail. (probably because she's chewed me out on several occasions about calling Planned Parenthood "planned murderhood" etc. telling me I sound like a "scared little child" and how offensive it sounds) with me not replying to her attacks.

Thoughts?

[/quote]

It's an unfortunate sign of the times. You left your previous denomination, in part, because evil was being accepted as good, and by judging evil as evil, and entering the Catholic Church, your are considered, in her view, to be doomed to a "life of turmoil and judgmental hostility."

My goodness. Let's just accept all evil actions because Christ told us not to judge. Lack of judgment actually leads to deformed character formation. But her attitude is pretty prevalent.


#4

[quote="silentstar, post:2, topic:207340"]
I guess I don't understand enough about the background. Why does this person feel that you are damaging your family by making this decision? The issues of abortion, birth control and etc. - are you expecting your child to get involved with this at her age? It seems like there is too much I don't understand. Why does this person compare your decisions to growing up in an intolerant household?

To me the tone of the message sounds frustrated, as if there might be background here that I don't understand. Beyond that it's hard to say. I know your beliefs are different from hers/theirs - that is why you say you are leaving.

edited to add: I think in a previous post you mentioned that in the past your husband has gotten pretty angry when you raised the issue of converting to Catholicism. I think you also said that lately he's calmed down and started agreeing more with you. But maybe this person knows about the disputes you've had and that relates to the turmoil that she is referencing here.

[/quote]

No I do not expect my daughter to be involved with these things (unless it's abortion because she accompanies us to the clinic for prayer sign holding with the pro-life group at this Catholic church we are going to attend). She thinks it's damaging to take our 7 year old away from 4 other kids at church-(the only kids) (3 of which belong to parents that outright hates us-because we don't believe in contraception). This person grew up in a fundaMENTAList household that believed amongst other things that the local highway was going to be built to transport and to kill Christians in the "tribulation". They were "intolerant" of sin too (hardcore moralists) which I guess she has branded us with "you're like my horrible mom and dad". Has nothing to do with my husband's views, has everything to do with being fake sickly sweet when even talking about a murderous organization like planned parenthood. (she would be offended at me using the word "murderous". The turmoil is that we are unwavering on moral issues, we don't see them as "political" or "uncharitable" like the folks at this Anglican Church and when someone at church starts going off about pro-lifers or saying that it's "uncharitable" to ask a woman to have one kid right after another (as if Catholics do that or NFP is not an option for spacing) we rightly don't just "sit there" but speak up (we don't yell or get nasty we just simply state uncomprimising views in a logical way that can't be argued with.)


#5

Don't worry. people like that love all people -except those who believe in something they don't.

God bless you :thumbsup:


#6

Try arguing with a cement block wall... you'll probably make better progress. http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v313/ponyguy/Uhh.gif


#7

How fortunate you are that you have lost that 'friend'. Pray for her and for all those who have mistaken the world's values for God's.


#8

That's not a friend.

Sounds like you're being called
to pray for an enemy.

If you ever need a friend to replace her,
I'd be happy to volunteer.

:blessyou:


#9

Dear S,
The road to Hell is paved with good intentions and misplaced compassion. We don't want to go there. As for my kids we will raise them however we see fit.
Thank you for your concern,
Defenderoftruth


#10

[quote="defenderoftruth, post:1, topic:207340"]


I know you think you're doing what's right - standing for what's right - trying to make a difference in the world -- all of that. But, honey, if you have not love, you're a sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal. Blessed are the merciful, and "as we forgive those who trespass against us," and all the other things you also know. If you are ever ready to learn kindness and the power of mercy, you will find that it is still waiting for you.


Thoughts?

[/quote]

Obviously I don't know you or her or your situation, but some people have the gift of being uncompromising about the Truth and still being warm, kind and inviting. Perhaps this woman feels like you have become very harsh and isolating, and she isn't seeing any message of Christ's love and the beauty of Truth from things that have been said? Maybe she's reacting to what she perceives as a faith that tells people what they can't do and why they're all just a rotten bunch of sinners (tongue-in-cheek, but you know what I mean?).

There are precious few posters on this board, I always enjoy reading their comments, because they are 100% faithful to the Magisterium, and they always speak from a place of great charity and love, regardless of the message they deliver. This must be a special grace.

I may be totally completely off base, but it was just what occurred to me when I read it.:shrug:

God bless.


#11

Maybe you're right that this person was reacting emotionally because what you've done echoes (in her mind) the unhappy household she grew up in. Of course you are entitled to what you believe and even though she is more liberal (the term people generally use - not necessarily true) in her beliefs that doesn't make it right for her to characterise you in this way. Often 'liberal' types can be just as intolerant as anyone for those who are different.

But is that all there is to it? Because in one way the letter comes across to me to be quite eloquent and heartfelt... are you sure that you haven't given her any cause to say those things? Surely it would take a lot for someone to come out and make a statement like that.

In my experience, even though people know that I'm religious and hold some more traditional views, I haven't had problems with those people or vice versa, I haven't been told that I'm living a life of 'turmoil and judgemental hostility' (admittedly a very offensive accusation that this friend has made) - occasionally people have felt I was naive and too idealistic, or out of touch in my beliefs when we've discussed them but with that there is an attitude of acceptance, live and let live. That has to go both ways though.

Perhaps you could express your belief in the sanctity of life without having to blast 'planned murderhood' - you never know who is listening or what they may have been through and what pain you may be causing. And why would these couples at your old church hate you for not believing in contraception? Whenever I have expressed any view of that kind people have looked at me as if I've grown an extra head but hate me? Definitely not. Maybe the problem is that you're so caught up in your beliefs that you have been trying to force them on others too much?

As much as I admire your strong principles, I can't admire letting that get in the way of behaving charitably and sensibly, and just being sensitive to the feelings of others (IF indeed that has happened - i'm not accusing you, just to give a perpective!). And sometimes, there is a time and a place for what you say and do. For instance, this is just my personal opinion, but I don't believe it's appropriate to bring a child along to stand outside an abortion clinic. I think that's more than a child needs to deal with - at seven I certainly didn't have a clue what abortion was in the same way as nobody had ever discussed the holocaust with me or told me what rape was. If they had, I would have just been confused and frightened by it.

Sorry if this makes me sound like a 'watered down' Christian, that isn't my intention. I'm just giving another viewpoint and saying that what I would take from a letter like this (as upsetting as it must have been) is maybe a heads up that I need to think about how I'm coming across and whether I might be going to extremes and alienating people, not so much with my views but with the way I express and live them out. But then again I haven't met any of these people or been privy to what has been happening, it sounds difficult for you, and I'm sorry if I've misinterpreted the situation. God bless.


#12

My husband sent her a response… [brackets have been used to change the names]

[S],

Using your parents to demonstrate how evil [Defenderoftruth] and I are is a hatred that is only found in your heart [S] and therefore is meaningless to me other than to demonstrate that you, [parish member 1] and [parish member 2] all have a common thread to unite you, and that is the hatred and disdain of your parents even to the point of rejecting Christian morality just so that you don’t have to be like “them”! It is VERY sad to behold indeed.

The fact is [S] that going to a church that actively preaches against birth control other than Natural Family Planning is going to be a great place for our children being that there are going to be so many other children and families that obviously believe that Children are a blessing from the Lord not something to be avoided. I think that the folks at [Catholic Church] and any God fearing person would take offense at you comparing standing against Child murder as “this life of turmoil and judgmental hostility”.

Obviously anywhere we go there are going to be things that we disagree with or have problems with. We are in the world after all. Only when Jesus returns will we each be able to truly be at peace. Truth will be undeniable!

Only condoms/sponges (other barrier methods maybe) as far as I am aware of, do not have the possibility in and of themselves to cause an abortion. And you don’t speak out against this because of “Charity”??? I would ask charity of WHAT! It is certainly not for God or any of the lives that are involved. We as Christians are called to actively stand against the encroachment of evil into the Church. We are called to be witnesses against the darkness of this world. We are called to be salt and light and Jesus says that if we lose our saltiness we are good for nothing but to be cast out and trampled upon. Having your lips shut-up against evil because of “Charity” not only demeans what Charity truly is but makes you just another bland member of our dying world.

Repenting (turning away from sins) is our first step toward forgiveness from God. Without this, eternal damnation is promised. Now while there are situations where we need to forgive another without them asking for forgiveness first for our own Spiritual well being this has nothing to do with sins against God.

I would be interested as to what you think are the right kind of people and do you think you are surrounded by them anywhere… what hath light to do with darkness? (if you think any of them are the “right people” then obviously you are judging what are the wrong people and simply don’t have the love in your heart to help them become what they are supposed to be…this is what I think you think you are doing with us but you are all mixed up about what is and is not a judgment) In all your defriending and telling us how judgmental we are being aren’t you judging us? Isn’t your whole message the pinnacle of hypocrisy since you are accusing us of judging? Liberal positions are ALWAYS self defeating…God has made it this way…You can’t ever tell someone they are wrong for judging because you are judging them in doing so. You can only try and make a point that they are making a wrong judgment. That is why the Christian view is to make a RIGHTEOUS Judgment. And if we simply reiterate what God has already told us in that Homosexuality is evil as well as is Child murder in any form be it willfully or due to destroying your body from Birth Control… when people stand against us they are standing against GOD!

[defenderoftruth’s husband]

He wanted me to post that to see what you all think.

DoT


#13

It sounds like emotions were running pretty high from both parties, and that there's enough fuel going around to keep a lot of fires burning. Can't detect any of the peace, love or joy we as Catholics are supposed to have. Sorry but you asked....

There's nothing wrong with having heated emotions at times, right? But I've come to regret 99% of the things I send off or say when my anger is at a peak.

Wishing you well, God bless


#14

Pray for her and then shake the dust off your sandals and seek to serve God and His Church. You don't need to deal with folks like this. (Other than to pray for them.)


#15

[quote="marysdaughter22, post:11, topic:207340"]
Maybe you're right that this person was reacting emotionally because what you've done echoes (in her mind) the unhappy household she grew up in. Of course you are entitled to what you believe and even though she is more liberal (the term people generally use - not necessarily true) in her beliefs that doesn't make it right for her to characterise you in this way. Often 'liberal' types can be just as intolerant as anyone for those who are different.

But is that all there is to it? Because in one way the letter comes across to me to be quite eloquent and heartfelt... are you sure that you haven't given her any cause to say those things? Surely it would take a lot for someone to come out and make a statement like that.

In my experience, even though people know that I'm religious and hold some more traditional views, I haven't had problems with those people or vice versa, I haven't been told that I'm living a life of 'turmoil and judgemental hostility' (admittedly a very offensive accusation that this friend has made) - occasionally people have felt I was naive and too idealistic, or out of touch in my beliefs when we've discussed them but with that there is an attitude of acceptance, live and let live. That has to go both ways though.

Perhaps you could express your belief in the sanctity of life without having to blast 'planned murderhood' - you never know who is listening or what they may have been through and what pain you may be causing. And why would these couples at your old church hate you for not believing in contraception? Whenever I have expressed any view of that kind people have looked at me as if I've grown an extra head but hate me? Definitely not. Maybe the problem is that you're so caught up in your beliefs that you have been trying to force them on others too much?

As much as I admire your strong principles, I can't admire letting that get in the way of behaving charitably and sensibly, and just being sensitive to the feelings of others (IF indeed that has happened - i'm not accusing you, just to give a perpective!). And sometimes, there is a time and a place for what you say and do. For instance, this is just my personal opinion, but I don't believe it's appropriate to bring a child along to stand outside an abortion clinic. I think that's more than a child needs to deal with - at seven I certainly didn't have a clue what abortion was in the same way as nobody had ever discussed the holocaust with me or told me what rape was. If they had, I would have just been confused and frightened by it.

Sorry if this makes me sound like a 'watered down' Christian, that isn't my intention. I'm just giving another viewpoint and saying that what I would take from a letter like this (as upsetting as it must have been) is maybe a heads up that I need to think about how I'm coming across and whether I might be going to extremes and alienating people, not so much with my views but with the way I express and live them out. But then again I haven't met any of these people or been privy to what has been happening, it sounds difficult for you, and I'm sorry if I've misinterpreted the situation. God bless.

[/quote]

I don't think her letter was eloquent and heartfelt I think it was passive aggressive. (I like you guys...but you are cruel to your children). The only cause we've given her to dislike us and attack us is when liberal viewpoints are put forth by people from church we disagree and "cause waves" on their sinking ship. (sorry but that's what it is). You can't have a "live and let live" with pro-aborts at church that mock pro-lifers in front of you, when you do pro-life work at the clinics. (which parish member 2 does-see my husband's letter). I only call it "planned murderhood" on my own facebook page not in conversations with other parishners. I should be able to give my opinion on this organization how I see fit on my own page (she chose to be offended by it-since she was a "friend" on facebook). That's one of the first nasty letters I got from her chastising me for calling them that on my own page like she's my mommy or something! The only people I have on facebook (before she was added as a friend) were friends and family 99% of which are pro-life.

Only one couple from that church hates us for our view on contraception (the ones with 3 going on 4 kids). The reason is they asked us what we think is acceptable for married couples (contraception or not) we told them about how the IUD, the pill etc. are abortificient. I even gave them the Christopher West "Good News for marriage...." book. They went to NFP seminars....but the husband was not interested in "following the rules" so she got pregnant (she's 38 and he's 41) they were both upset over it. He blames us. She's now getting a tubal litigation after she gives birth. (to which in our conversation they know we don't agree with). These aren't strangers, they've been to our house to visit on Saturdays spent the night and gone to church the next morning. They've been to Easter dinners, birthday parties etc. Now they hate us for the pregnancy and our unchanging view on contraception. Nope no "forcing our beliefs on others" there.

Real charity is being honest about how you feel when someone asks, (as opposed to lying to avoid disagreement). I usually warn someone "you might not like what I have to say but..." (when they ask) As for us bringing our children to abortion clinics. They're our kids we aren't going to leave them with a sitter when they can be with us and there is nothing wrong with praying outside an abortion clinic and quite frankly my daughter knew at two that it was wrong to hurt a baby and yet some adults just don't get-go figure.


#16

[quote="AndrewA, post:5, topic:207340"]
Don't worry. people like that love all people -except those who believe in something they don't.

God bless you :thumbsup:

[/quote]

This sums up the situation.


#17

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.