Monday, November 22, 2010

It Ends On A Positive Note: Updated

Pastor Jackass' latest email:
"Hi Paige,
You and your baby have been constantly in my prayers since we met and will continue to be. I want you to know that and that I care deeply for you and your baby in the Lord. I also wanted to write to ask for your understanding and forgiveness for any of my inadequacies as a pastor: I surely have many. My intention is always to bring the Word of God to my parishioners and I never want my failings or personality to get in the way of that Word. As you look forward to the months and years ahead, I believe that there is much in the Word of God that you should consider in faith and humility - for as the Psalmist said, "Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a guide to my path." When you want to talk about that Word of God in a confidential and non-confrontational environment, know that my door is always open.
In Christ,
Pastor Jackass"

I actually laughed when I read it. "cares deeply"? "inadequacies as a pastor"? Please! What arrogant garbage.

A friend and my mom seem to think that word has gotten back to him about how horribly I think I was treated. The comment about "confidential and non-confrontational" make me wonder. It's true I have talked far and wide about it and my family has done the same. Someone could have spoken to him about it inspiring the apology. As for his door always being open...give me a break, I'll never darken that doorstep again.

Even funnier, Mom's response after I forwarded her the email:
"Sounds like he got the word. I'd tell him to blow it out his ditty bag! Hope you have a return e-mail prepared for him. If not, I can help. Don't (DO NOT) go easy on him - he has earned all the wrath you can throw at him!!FOOL, what a bunch of crap! How fast can he back track, bet skid marks can be seen somewhere. Damn right, he had a lot of inadequacies - make a list, a long one. Don't let him get away with this "I'm so humble crap"! I think that's all fake anyway. Apparently he thinks you're the one who should be humble. Don't think he's changed his thinking in any way - just maybe realized his delivery was so horrible. But that really doesn't change the meaning of the initial discussion. Don't think it'd be at all beneficial for you to meet with him. I expect he'd just keep hammering away at you in an attempt to make you repent - which we both know is NOT necessary!! He as much as admits that with the "non confrontational" bit. It's a good thing you can laugh - my ears are red!"

She's so mad, but "Blow it out his ditty bag"? actually made me LOL. I have no idea where she comes up with these things. I asked her what a "ditty bag" was and she said she didn't know, it was just an old saying.

My response back to him:
"Thank you for your apology but you should know that I felt none of this caring or love that you write of during our meeting, only callus criticism and judgment. I understand these are controversial issues and difficult for some to talk about. However, until meeting with you, I had never encountered a preacher who wouldn't look me in the eye or who didn't offer to read scripture or pray with me no matter how difficult the topic. I was very upset for days not as a result of what you had to say but how you said it. I suggest you seek counseling in tact and compassion. Clearly, I cannot stay at a church where my child may be treated harshly as I have been. Please do not contact me again."

I'm ready to put this whole horrible experience behind me. The responses I've received in real life and here on the blog have proven to me many times over that there is a hell of a lot more LOVE and acceptance in the world than narrow-minded cruelty.

Also, I believe that never does something negative happen that something good doesn't come out of it:
--I've experienced my first flash of mother tigress "I'll kill you if you hurt my baby" emotion. Outside of love for my baby, this is probably the strongest emotion I've ever felt. I know I can stand up and protect Sweet Pea if I need to.
--I've been forced to move outside my comfort zone and find a new church home. My childhood church hasn't met my religious needs for years but I was too comfortable there and too lazy to make the effort to find one that fit me. Now I know I will.
--Now that I've handled this crazy kind of harshness, I know I can handle it in the future if I have to. I can voice my beliefs without being emotional or backing down.

Probably more that I'm not seeing right now. I really believe that every little thing happens for some purpose. Pray for us tonight, girls....


Well, I just spoke to S about this whole mess. She had told her mom about the meeting and her mom was horrified as everyone else has been. I guess her mom said something to the preacher before or after church sticking up for me and saying that he should not have said that to me. Apparently, they had a short conversation about it. The preacher got visibly upset and admitted he probably shouldn't have said all that to me. S's mom told him that she didn't think I was coming back and he acted surprised. I'm so surprised and touched that S's mom would, unasked, confront him like that. I really want to go right over there and hug her to pieces. I now know what prompted this apology..he wanted to feel better about himself. No matter, I'm done with it and moving on.


  1. I'm so proud of you Paige!!! I love how you are standing up for yourself and your sweet baby. Also I think the beneficial ripples arising from this experience will be many. Other women hoping to become mothers could feel more supported, both in your town and in the wider social circles emanating from it. And I love the image of you as a fierce mother tigress! There's nothing you can't do!

    I cracked up at your mom's phrase "blow it out his ditty bag" and I want to write that one down. =)

  2. You go girl! I am glad that you politely told him where to get off. You are a mother tigress and Sweetpea is one lucky little baby.

  3. You ROCK Paige! I love your reply, and your Mom!!! Yes, good really has come out of this. And maybe that jackass will learn something too, but thanks to your momma tigress stance it isn't your problem if he doesn't. You did good. Congratulations.

  4. Your mom's response was priceless, but your response to the preacher - just amazing. Absolutely amazingly perfect! You're my hero!

  5. I'm so very proud of you! I had to laugh about your comment of the tigress. I always call it the Momma Bear in me. I'm usually a mellow chic...but get me in protective mode as a mother, and well, it's not always pretty.

    Like the old saying "When momma bear ain't happy - NOBODY's happy!"

    Lord, it's the truth!

  6. I loved the "first flash of mother tigress"! You demonstrated more eloquence, dignity and humility in your response than his email ever attempted. Truly inspirational!

  7. Good for you! I laughed out loud when I read ditty bag - I wonder if its some sort of old school term for douchebag, which he certainly is. Or maybe its his colon.. I just can't get enough of wondering :)

    More than anything I love how you've turned it around. I'll try to keep this story short (but you know me..): A few months ago a friend had an insane, awful flea infestation at her place because of wild animals living in the walls and attic. Total slum. It was right after had just healed from having a broken foot and not having a car and living on a 3rd floor walkup. She was so distraught and called me hysterical. She wanted to know what she could have done that her karma was so awful. Why was she being punished?

    I told her I thought G-d loves her so much that he knew she would never leave her dungeon shithole of an apartment without a swift kick in the ass. He so badly wanted her to fulfill her potential by living someplace in the city - someplace with people - friends to make, places to go, places to eat, instead of a crappy run-down impoverished town, that he put her in the only terrible situation he knew would get her to leave.

    She quickly moved out of her old place and into the city and called me up to tell me she felt like she was finally living - that she had been on hold for the 2 years she was living in the old place. What had taken her so long, she wondered?

    And that's kinda what I hear you saying about this church. You wanted out, you weren't feeling right there - and maybe G-d knew you needed a push to get somewhere where your spiritual needs were really being met, ya know?

    Or maybe I'm just full of crap and should mind my own damn business :)

  8. 1st of all, I just love your Mom!!!

    It's so good that you have found the positive in such a difficult ordeal. My instinct is to wish you hadn't had to go through it but when I read how much good has come out of it for you, it's so worth it.

    Good for you, Mother Tigress!

  9. I'm so happy that you have so much care and support in your community to 'cancel out' the negativity of pastor jackass. Now that he's been called out by at least 1 other person in the congregation, maybe he'll start to own his actions and do some repenting of his own. But I doubt it. More likely, he'll step up his fire and brimstone game...and more rational people like you will walk away from it.
    I understand that fierce protectiveness all too well, having threatened great bodily harm to more than one of my asinine family members for putting my babies at risk. It never goes away!

  10. Well done! how awesome you are and will be as mom! what an arrogant twaddle head that pastor was. good riddance to bad rubbish!

  11. I'm SOOO happy you responded to his email! My favorite part: "don't contact me again." You are a strong, confident momma - and your little one is so lucky to have you!

  12. So sorry that you had to experience this, but like the other ladies said you handled with such poise! And you didn't have to stoop down.