They offend me a lot.
They make presumptions about what a Catholic man “should be” and are just as bad as anyone saying that a Catholic woman “should be” a certain way.
They place unrealistic expectations into the minds of both the Catholic…
I make the Good Catholic Husbands posts and I can say very clearly that they are called “good catholic husbands”, plural, for a reason. No ONE person can or should ever be all of these things. I also picked different men to further that idea, that they are different husbands in different marriages. They are also meant to be fun, lighthearted examples of devoutness, some more silly than others. I clear most of them with my actual Catholic husband, who is not all of these things, and my Catholic sponsor, who works for the Diocese of Phoenix and speaks on Theology of the Body for the Catholic church. I understand if some of them are not for you, but they have helped me a great deal and my marriage has actually gotten stronger since making them. And believe me, my husband is far from perfect. ;) And I love him exactly the way he is.
As a (hopefully) future Catholic husband, I find them to be bad for my own formation as a Catholic man who feels called to marriage. I’ve noticed the tug to change into these things, and I refuse to bow down and take it. I can only assume that other Catholic men on tumblr have had similar experiences. My own personal experiences are testimony to what I have been arguing.
Saying that I’m taking them “too seriously” and saying that I’m “naive” are condescending in their own right. And condescending remarks I’ve made towards you have only been response to your own condescension. A taste of your own medicine, if you will.
The ends do not justify the means, and while you may have benefited from making these, they have directly harmed my own, and probably other mens’, formation. If you have any respect for the Catholic men of tumblr, you will stop making them.
I’m still a bit confused as to how they have really harmed your faith formation. Again, I clear these with a lot of very devout Catholics before posting them, both men and women. I apologize if they offend you, but my experience has been that most men do not take them this way. I would also ask which one of my posts has actually offended you. Also, when I was trying to say anyone who took them too seriously was a bit naive was not trying to be condescending to you, but a statement directed at the women who follow them taking these to be all one person. That would be naive. Also, “giving me a taste of my own medicine” is not a good way to respond if you felt I was being condescending. I’ve told you of my intent, I can understand you don’t like them, but I post them intermittently, among MANY other Catholic things, and I do intend to keep on making them occasionally. I’ve gotten an overwhelmingly positive response from tons and tons of people, again, both Catholic men and women on them. If they do hurt your faith I apologize.
I find the good Catholic husbands posts amusing. Not all women expect Catholic guys to be like that. I think any girl who expects a Catholic guy to be absolutely all of those things should read this:
Honestly, most of us would probably love a guy who is an absolutely perfect Catholic. However, there is no such guy. All people (both husbands and wives) make mistakes and are not perfect. I might actually feel a little bit inferior if i was with a guy who was that good a Catholic. My boyfriend is Catholic, but he hardly ever goes to Mass and isn’t very active in his faith. He is definitely not like the “good Catholic husbands”, but i could still see myself potentially marrying him someday. He encourages me in my faith and wants to raise his children Catholic. He’s sweet and caring and respectful and that’s what matters most to me. While i would like it if he was “more” Catholic, I do care about him for who he is, even though he’s not a “perfect” Catholic. Not all girls have expectations that a man should be exactly like these posts.
The issue isn’t about what Catholic women actually expect. It’s about the perceived expectations that those women have. Just like no man really expects to have a supermodel girlfriend, that doesn’t change the fact that the media’s ideal for the female form has a detrimental effect on women of all walks of life.
I know that no Catholic woman would expect all of those things from me. Intellectually I know it. But that doesn’t change the fact that I have seen myself subconsciously conforming to the ideals perpetuated by these image macros. I want to be my own Catholic man, I don’t want to be some crazy ideal that I’ve subconsciously pieced together from these stupid macros. But just like women have body image issues from the mainstream media, I have noticed in myself, faith image issues due to these particular macros.
This is a problem. These macros aren’t good. Some are funny, some are even worth while. But so are some of the things that the mainstream media perpetuates about a woman. It IS good to eat healthy and stay fit. But these things have become demons just like GCH and CRG have or will become.
You also have no right to tell her to stop making them. This is the internet; we have freedom of speech. If you’re offended by it, block the posts.
I not only have a right, I have an obligation to ask her to stop making them. And you can’t use the freedom of speech argument to stifle my own freedom of speech.
Now, as to why I have this obligation.
Let us take a trip to a seminary that I know. It adjoins a university, and so the seminarians and the undergrads have quite a bit of contact with each other. Now, this story revolves around a deacon in his final year of seminary, we’ll call him Deacon Joe.
Deacon Joe is walking out of the seminary on a warm spring day, in order to go and buy some groceries. As he’s walking out, he notices, on the field in front of the seminary (that is quite far away from the undergraduate housing, if I might add), several women who are sunbathing in their bikinis.
Now, Deacon Joe has no real problem with these women sunbathing, however, their location is what bothers him. See, Deacon Joe has been at this seminary for close to 8 years now, so he knows what the undergraduate women like to do on a warm sunny day in spring. Deacon Joe himself has been victim to some formation issues ultimately arising from the location in which these undergraduate women have decided to sunbathe.
Deacon Joe has been able to overcome these formation issues, but he knows that it would be beneficial to the younger seminarians if they didn’t have to see these women sunbathing in front of the seminary. By Deacon Joe’s speaking up, he would prevent further formation issues in his brother seminarians, and he would stop any potential formation issues caused by this in his own formation to the priesthood.
Deacon Joe has a right to speak up as a seminarian who has been victim to similar formation issues previously, and he has an obligation to speak up in order to help prevent these formation issues from affecting his younger brother seminarians.
If you substitute Deacon Joe’s name for mine, the sunbathing women for these GCH and CRG macros, and brother seminarians for fellow Catholic men on tumblr, then I think you can see how I not only have the right to speak up, but the obligation as well. By just blocking these macros, I don’t fix the problem or help those I’m obligated to. I selfishly protect myself and only myself.
It seems to me that the problem is actually resolved. You both have already agreed to disagree. One will continue posting certain images, the other will disagree with those and wish they weren’t posted. I don’t think we can move forward at this point until you just call it a day. There is a certain point at which the illustrations, examples, and references simply reinforce how much you disagree instead of actually convincing the other to change. Remember Augustine: In fides unitas (unity on the dogmas), in dubia libertas (freedom to fight on most everything else that isn’t so black and white), sed in omnibus caritas (but in all things, let’s hold fast to charity, because no fight is worth losing that sense that you love each other and are on the same time).
Also, that last comment. Look, I really don’t take issues with you personally, really. I will defend my posts/points to the point where I think its justified. At the end of the day, though, we are just going to have to agree to disagree.