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While many of us come from different backgrounds and faiths, find fosamax online I believe sharing those experiences and perceived differences make life more interesting, find fosamax online as well as when we listen to others there are often the revelations that show how similar we really are. Find fosamax online The Brave Women of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church abuse stories are exasperating, find fosamax online but a few lay writers give me hope. women2a.jpg Ellen Painter Dollar I love a good story. That’s why I’ve been captivated in recent days by stories concerning the Catholic Church abuse scandal. Not the newspaper spreads with timelines showing who knew what, find fosamax online when they knew it, find fosamax online and what they did or didn’t do about it. I’ve read some of those stories, find fosamax online but they do not captivate me. I’m captivated, find fosamax online rather, find fosamax online by the complex, find fosamax online inspiring stories of lay Catholics and, find fosamax online in particular, find fosamax online the stories of three Catholic women who explain why they remain Catholic. Find fosamax online NPR featured two essays, find fosamax online the first by writer Elizabeth Scalia, find fosamax online whose essay is a poetic meditation on the dark and light that coexist in creation. Find fosamax online Scalia understands that “everything, find fosamax online from our institutions to our innermost beings, find fosamax online are seen through a glass, find fosamax online darkly, find fosamax online” yet she holds on to her faith’s “bright hope.”

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In the second NPR essay, find fosamax online novelist and poet Julianna Baggott writes of leaving the church but retaining her Catholic identity. She honors the nuns and priests who welcomed and educated her mother during a troubled childhood and who schooled Baggott in a radical, find fosamax online inclusive faith. Baggott credits the church for shaping her as a writer, find fosamax online for “the basic rule of storytelling is show, find fosamax online don't tell. Find fosamax online Christianity shares this idea — the word made flesh. Of all the Christian denominations, find fosamax online no one does more bloody, find fosamax online impassioned showing than Catholicism.” Finally, find fosamax online religion scholar Donna Freitas, find fosamax online who has published a guest essay on Her.meneutics, find fosamax online debuted her new Washington Post column called “Stubborn Catholic” this week. Her first post revealed her own experience with priestly sexual impropriety. That experience left a scar, find fosamax online but that scar is only one piece of her Catholic identity. Find fosamax online Catholicism “is my family, find fosamax online my friends, find fosamax online my professional life as a theologian and scholar of religion. It's the way I mark time during the week and the year and the food I cook depending on the holiday. It is a childhood and a lifetime of experience.” These women are so brave. To understand why, find fosamax online just read the comments following their essays (although really, find fosamax online I want to say don’t, find fosamax online because the vitriol is discouraging, find fosamax online sometimes sickening). There is so much scorn, find fosamax online from those who accuse the writers of delusion for believing in any kind of religion, find fosamax online of sheep-like stupidity for their allegiance to such a damaged old institution, find fosamax online or of traitorous malice for speaking publicly of their church’s faults. I am not Catholic, find fosamax online but I am writing a book about reproductive ethics. Because the Catholic Church, find fosamax online in general, find fosamax online has more to say about such matters than Protestant churches, find fosamax online I read a lot of Catholic resources. While I don’t agree with every Catholic position, find fosamax online I respect their thoughtfulness and integrity. I believe that, find fosamax online when people of faith are discussing difficult, find fosamax online emotion-laden topics (sexuality, find fosamax online childbearing, find fosamax online vocation, find fosamax online identity), find fosamax online we owe it to other people of faith to understand the context and community out of which their beliefs arise. When I was part of an evangelical fellowship in college, find fosamax online I was perplexed to come across a book titled something like Catholics Are Christians Too. Having grown up in a New England town where most of my friends were either Catholic or Jewish, find fosamax online I was already pretty clear that Catholics were Christians. I didn’t understand why someone had to write a whole book about it. That was one of many lessons in how Christians like to label other Christians to make clear who is serious about this Jesus stuff and who is just a poser. In my college days, find fosamax online people called themselves “strong Christians” or “disciples” to differentiate themselves from those who (in their perception) liked to get dressed up and sing hymns on Sunday but didn’t really love the Lord. In my 20s, find fosamax online I attended a nontraditional urban church where people who had painful histories with mainline churches were unable to believe that anything good could come out of Methodism (or Lutheranism or Episcopalianism). I have spent the past 10 years in Episcopal churches where evangelicals and Roman Catholics are, find fosamax online on occasion, find fosamax online perceived less as brothers and sisters in Christ and more as anachronistic cultures by turns quaint and threatening. I too am prone to pigeonholing other believers based on what kind of church they attend, find fosamax online how comfortable they are uttering the “J” word in casual conversation, find fosamax online and whether hand-clapping, find fosamax online guitar-strumming praise music makes them ecstatic or uncomfortable. When I listen to people’s stories, find fosamax online though, find fosamax online my preconceptions fade in the light of the wondrous mix of grit and grace that resides within each of God’s children. When I read news stories about the Catholic Church, find fosamax online I want to throw my hands up in exasperation at all the lies, find fosamax online cover-ups, find fosamax online and hypocrisy. But reading stories by Catholic writers reminds me that all churches are, find fosamax online below the institutional trappings, find fosamax online leadership styles, find fosamax online and music preferences, find fosamax online groups of sorry, find fosamax online sinful, find fosamax online grateful, find fosamax online grace-filled, find fosamax online beautiful, find fosamax online blessed people. When we hear and welcome people’s stories, find fosamax online in all their complexity, find fosamax online we discover that we hold much more in common than not. Telling one’s story publicly, find fosamax online especially given the poison spewed freely on Internet comment boards, find fosamax online is courageous, find fosamax online plain and simple. I am grateful to these three women whose stories offer more insight and hope than any breaking news story ever could. Original article can be found at:  http://blog.christianitytoday.com/women/2010/04/the_brave_women_of_the_catholi.html Ellen Painter Dollar is a writer who focuses on Christian reproductive ethics and disability theology. Find fosamax online She is writing a book for Westminster John Knox Press (forthcoming in 2011) about the ethics and theology of assisted reproduction and genetic screening. Find fosamax online She blogs at ChoicesThatMatter.blogspot.com and Five Dollars and Some Common Sense. Find fosamax online She has written for Christianity Today about disability and genetic testing. Find fosamax online She also wrote on adoption and in vitro fertilization for Her.meneutics.