Thursday, April 27, 2006

Story of a Persecuted Nun

I normally compose in HTML and then paste into the Blogger Box, but my motherboard burned up (like with smoke and stuff) so I'm entering directly on the web which means I'm in a sub-optimal situation w.r.t spellcheck and ever since I taught Brit Lit I've been basically unable to spell modern English. So forgive me in advance any spelling errors. Now here's the story.

As I reached my seat on the small plane--it's just a short flight from Rochester to Chicago--I saw what was ostensibly a nun in the seat beside mine. Inwardly I cringed. Not for a second due to the fact that I have anything less than maximal respect for women religious. The problem is that my experiences with nuns has been almost entirely negative: "liberated" professionals for whom the only thing "magisterial" is the New York Times op-ed page. How did I recognize her as a nun? Well, it certainly wasn't because she was wearing a veil or any other noticeable habit--in fact, that's the essence of the story. Rather it was by a particular combination of close-cropped hair and very sensible shoes, like the kind older nurses wear. I'm leaving out some detail, but don't even act like you don't know what I'm talking about. This is a look mostly affected by nuns and farmer's wives, both eminantly practical sorts of women. I'm happy to defend the faith, indeed I find few things more enjoyable or rewarding. But it grates me to have to defend it to someone who's already taken a vow to uphold it. Still, I sat down with purpose and was ready to do my duty. As it turns out she was part of the counterinsurgency. We had a great conversation. I'll detail more of it later perhaps, but I first wanted to tell a bit of her story. I asked as politely as I could why she wasn't wearing a veil if she was a non-rebellious sister. She shared that even though it's part of the sworn habit of her order there is a prudence clause that allows sisters to forego visual signs of religious orders in cases where persecution would make it basically impossible to do their work. In some areas it would clearly make them a target for persecution.

Short of becoming a target for violence or persecution allowance is also made for situations in which the harrassment would keep them from their ordinary duties. She said she had made a judgement of prudence as a result of harassment that she could better fulfill her orders if she went without the veil. She hastened to add that she did wear it when she was in a "safer" area, such as where she had just been to a conference. Oh, you'll be wanting to know in what land she served that she was worried about harasment and persecution...the Diocese of Rochester, New York.

8 Comments:

Blogger TheHype1 said...

Any reason why we have a pattern of bashing nuns on here? What is your problem with people who have dedicated their lives to Christ? Why do you feel the need to judge them based on appearance, and what gives you the authority to do so?

Thursday, July 06, 2006 10:53:00 PM  
Blogger Trent_Dougherty said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Saturday, July 08, 2006 12:37:00 PM  
Blogger Trent_Dougherty said...

"a pattern of bashing nuns"

Pattern? Demonstrate just *one* instance in which I "bash" a nun.

"Judge" is ambiguous between "pronounce judgement upon" and "to recognize" as in "I judge that to be a sparrow and not a finch".

The former sense is malicious but absent from my post; the latter sense is present but benign.

Saturday, July 08, 2006 12:38:00 PM  
Blogger TheHype1 said...

I found two pieces on here that are critical of nuns? Why?

What "truth" of Mother Church are you teaching us?

Sunday, July 09, 2006 12:53:00 PM  
Blogger Trent_Dougherty said...

On the contrary, you found no pieces critical of nuns. The post is right up there, so if you are right it should be easy to prove your point with quotations and arguments rather than repeated assertions.

Since I am extremely appreciative of orthodox women religious--indeed I hold some hope that one of my girls my become a nun--I am confident you are subject to some misunderstanding.

However, until you attempt to present an argument, I can't diagnose the misunderstanding.

Sunday, July 09, 2006 4:13:00 PM  
Blogger TheHype1 said...

I love your "who, me?" approach to everything. You love the tedious!

Comments like these are negative:

"The problem is that my experiences with nuns has been almost entirely negative: "liberated" professionals for whom the only thing "magisterial" is the New York Times op-ed page."

"But it grates me to have to defend {my faith} it to someone who's already taken a vow to uphold it. Still, I sat down with purpose and was ready to do my duty. As it turns out she was part of the counterinsurgency. "

"I asked as politely as I could why she wasn't wearing a veil if she was a non-rebellious sister"

Where to begin? Why do you feel a "duty" to corner anybody, much less a nun, and grill her about wardrobe?

What makes that your business?

Since she didn't engage you, why do you say that you had to "defend" your faith?

How does what she wears somehow "attack" your faith?

What is this counterinsurgency...a lost section of the Da Vinci Code?

This simply solidifies my prior opinion of you. You admitted that in past stops on your journey of faith you made sport of trying to challenge others to gain notches in your belt. You simply enjoy conflicts with people, especially those you can ambush like the nun on the airplane. I certianly hope that you are proud of yourself. I also hope that, if your daughter indeed becomes a nun, she doesn't get abused by busybodies on airplanes.

Monday, July 10, 2006 7:31:00 PM  
Blogger Trent_Dougherty said...

I'm beginning to think this is just a prank.

Monday, July 10, 2006 7:45:00 PM  
Blogger TheHype1 said...

Interesting how the same password I've been using isn't accepted. Hmmmmmm!

Why don't you just answer the questions? I gather you like to waste time with quotations, even when you know exactly what I mean. So that's what I did.

Is this some kind of passive-aggressive plan you have here?

How could you possbily "politely" ask a stranger something like:

"I asked as politely as I could why she wasn't wearing a veil if she was a non-rebellious sister"

You could have easily asked, "I noticed you aren't wearing a veil, may I ask why?" That would be polite (though still none of your business), rather than damning her before she can answer.

I can anticipate the next message...you won't answer but claim you behavior isn't passive-aggressive. Here's a quick definition for you:

"Someone who is passive-aggressive will typically not confront others directly about problems, but instead will attempt to undermine their confidence or their success through comments and actions which, if challenged, can be explained away innocently so as not to place blame on the passive-aggressive person."

You ask barbed questions and do the "who, me?" routine.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006 7:23:00 PM  

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