Beyond Babedom

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The Catholic Lie

This isn’t a diatribe against the pope; it isn’t  a complaint about the number of (extra) collections they hit you with during mass. It’s not even a repudiation of the urban myth Catholic kids used to spread about a free pass to heaven if you wore a scapula from the moment you were born. No,  this is about the kind of lying that Catholics do. Yes, we lie. And I say “we” even though I’m really a non-practicing Catholic. I still feel guilty about lying. So Catholic lying is how I do it.

Catholic lying is kind of like what a lawyer does. You know – mincing words very carefully so that technically you are not lying. Don’t really want to talk to that friend? Claim you “called” her. . . never claiming you actually picked up a phone to call, but instead, you simply called out her name. Ipso facto – you called her! Yeah, I know, it’s hard to use that subterfuge now since everyone has caller ID. But you get the point. As long as you don’t techically lie, you’re okay.

Why do I think I have the right to claim this? Well, because I was brought up Catholic, know lots of Catholics (some of my best friends. . . ) and we all do it! When you grow up having to confess your sins to another person (a priest, in this case), you don’t necessarily sin any less. But what you do do is try to mitigate (there; now I’m sounding like a lawyer) your sins and you can do so by engaging in Catholic lying.

Don’t really like your co-worker’s new hairstyle? You say, “Wow! I’ve always thought you’d look great in short hair!” What you don’t say is that you never pictured it  spiked, pink and half shaved off. No lie told; no sin committed.

Your husband buys you an incredibly ugly blouse for your birthday. You could say you love it – but that’s a lie. Or you can Catholic lie and say “I can’t wait to wear it!” . . . because, the subtext is that when you do wear it, you’ll spill red food coloring all over it so you’ll never have to wear it again.

Looking at a picture of someone’s tremendously unattractive baby/grandchild? Catholic lie: Oh, I just love cute, little babies! Subtext: But yours isn’t one of them.

Have to talk to a playwright after sitting through a real flop? Catholic lie: I just loved that Bob character! Subtext: Too bad he was wasted in your boring, mirthless play.

So, now you know. Catholics are holier than thou, because we don’t lie. We simply know how to bend the rules.

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This entry was posted on Sunday, August 14th, 2011 at 1:33 PM and is filed under Social Issues. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

  1. Terri says:

    I am not Catholic, so therefore tend to be blunt and brutally honest! Not always intentionally of course! I have foot in mouth disease! LOL

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