Every so often a rebel rises up out of the mist of a sea of Catholicism and makes a radical wave in the Church. Usually this wave becomes a new church. And usually, as far as history-as-we-know-it is concerned, the rebel is a male. There have been Christians martyrs, to be certain, who have been female– some have broken out of their gender role in order to embark on a religious crusade, such as was the case with Sistrrr Joan (of Arc). Those who rise up, in faith, against the wayward practices of the church demonstrate the notion that rebellion and reformation go heart and hands.Rebellion and reformation in the convent are complicated phenomenons, and the nuns are not keen on promoting public knowledge of instances of either because they fear the repercussions brought on by The Vat. However, I do have one tale of reformation and rebellion to tell of– though I know that the average reader doesn’t have a shot in the dark at believing or understanding me.
All stories are incomplete, and the one I am about to share with you is no different.
Let’s go back in time to a few years ago, right around the time that I ended up on the streets and, then subsequently, back in an abbey. I was spending a lot of time on playgrounds and was not in the habit of wearing my habit. None of the other nuns would play with me, except this one nun, Sistrrr Barrow, who used to give me terrible dirty looks when I passed her in the hall on the way to recess (yes, nun recess is a thing; nuns like to play). Sistrrr Barrow’s dirty looks at recess got my attention but they didn’t bother me. I figured she just had never seen a nun with half a beard before! All that eyebrow action was probably involuntary. I didn’t mind because I thought very highly of Sistrrr Barrow; she worked with little nuns as a kindergarten schoolteacher and she was good with the kids. Naturally, I wanted to learn, and so, in no time at all, I approached her and asked her if there was any particular reason she wore a pirate hat on top of her habit. I also asked her how she came to be a nun. That was when she told me something that truly shocked me– she said that she was a Lutheran! A Lutheran nun? Have you ever? Heard.Of.Such.A.Thing?
A Lutheran! Not a Lutheran!
Readrrr, this occurred during the days when the The Vat had been brainwashed into thinking that Lutheranism was a humorless cult of homophobic angry white men who couldn’t stand the flamboyant, sassy, pulpit-pounding gay pride fest that IS Roman Catholicism! (I kid you, Readrrr; you and I both know that the Lutherans are just as sassy and gay as the Catholics– they just do a better job of hiding it under their frocks.)
I had only discussed Lutheranism with one other person before meeting Sistrrr Barrow, but Sistrrr Barrow introduced me to her Lutheran nun compatriot, Sistrrr Micah, and before I knew it, I was on the road to becoming a Lutheran. Lutheranism was new to me. It was different to me. I learned everything I could; The Vat had no clue my Lutheran education was going on right inside the convent.
I went to weekly Lutheran Bible study meetings with hardcore, even dare I say ultra conservative Lutheran nuns, and though I never bought into the conservativism and could never have that love of the incense fest driven out of me, I did learn to appreciate and understand the Lutheran religion. Before mass each week, because Lutherans don’t sleep in on Sundays like Catholics do, I went to Lutheran service. I even went to Lutheran camp one year, and I had a truly blessed time.
All was well. I was being converted. My faith had been ren(ew)ed. But there was just one problem: I was not allowed to become a Lutheran. Not unless I repented my flaming homohexuality. Readrrr; did you not pick up on that yet? It’s part of the reason I’m a probationary nun. I’m a homohexual. My nature gets in the way of my nurture, I guess you might say.
During my days studying with Barrow and Micah at Immanuel Lutheran, I was allowed to attend church with my sistrrrs but I was not allowed to partake in communion. I couldn’t change the fact that deep down in my soul and in my mind I am incapable of ever believing that love between hex nuns is a sin. So I couldn’t call myself, in good conscience, a Lutheran, even though in many ways I felt like just that: a Lutheran. I thought about starting up my own Sistrrr Church, Immanyewal Lewtheran, but the logistics of doing so were a bit foggy and (cu)cumbersome. All seemed hopeless, until Marta Lewther, Martin Luther’s Jewish sistrrr, entered the picture.
Ah, again it happened. While trying to learn the history of Lutheranism, I discovered the hrrrstory of Lewtheranism. Could it have been a mere coincidence? I think not. There I was, in the Little Lutheran Library, looking for books on “Catholic school girls who want to be/come Lutheran nuns” when I stumbled upon a section of biographies on the German monk who started it all –the father of the Protestant Reformation: Martin Luther.
Today we talk about separation of church and state, but in Luther’s day, he was after separation of church and faith. In other words, he grew sick and tired of the Catholic church’s elaborations on the Word of God. He was, above all, a reader, and we know that because he essentially said (to paraphrase poorly like any good hex-Catholic would), “Stop these theatrical shenanigans and stop manipulating the Word of God to suit your flamboyant whims” to the Catholic church. Do you think the church listened? No, but Luther continued to march to the beat of his own drum (chanting “Faith alone, Word alone…” – geesh, the poor guy spent a whole lotta time alone, poor lonely dude…).
My interest in Luther and my aloneness led me to the shelf on which his Small Catechism sat. Soon I had my own Little Lutheran Nun Library, in my nun cell, with my Portal of Prayer and my Small Catechism and my Lutheran Study Bible. I still had my rosary, of course, but my focus became entering the portal to Lutheran worship.
I learned a lot but never so much as when, mysteriously, a book with the title “Lewthrrr’s Even Smaller Cat-echism” showed up. It looked just like Luther’s but was, like it claimed, even smaller than the Small Catechism. And who was Lewthrrr? In no time, I had my extra-small, okay: miniature, catechism open and was delving in to the nearly-impossible-to-read script. I began comparing my Small and Smaller Catechisms, and I discovered that the Small Cat, written by Martin Luther, contained an explanation section produced by the LCMS (Lesbian Condemnation Mortuary Synod). The Smaller Cat was written the Luther sistrrr you’ve never heard of: Marta Lewthrrr, and its explanation section was produced by the ELCA (Eternally Lesbian Committee on Apostolicism). The Luther and Lewthrrr Catechisms were identical, but the explanatory (ahem: elaboratory) materials for each were different. One claimed to be a literal translation of Luther’s ideas (LCMS) and the other acknowledged the inevitability of interpretation in translation (ELCA). While I appreciated all I learned from Sistrrrs Barrow and Micah, I knew as soon as I beheld Lewthrrr’s Even Smaller Catechism that I had found what Our Heavenly Fathrrr wanted me to find: an anchor that would allow me to hold on to the little faith I had left.
That is the condensed (or …small/rrr) version of how I became a Lewthrrran. But it gets more complicated because, in the midst of becoming one, I realized that, despite being raised Cat-ho-lic, I have always been Jewish. Quite a conundrum, eh, Readrrr… to be three-in-one. Well, if anyone can dew it, we (I -mean- I?) can.
Being Jewish wasn’t exactly news to me. Fathrrr Rebbe, of Holy Ghost Church, has been calling me Yentl since I was just a kid.
Aside from the fact that, yes, my Hungarian ancestors on my grandfathrrr’s mothrrr’s side were Jewish, I have always just, well, felt it. How does one feel Jewish? I guess one feels like me. The Old Testament does have a mighty hold on me, at times (usually times of fear and sorrow) but in large part I am a New Testament Jew, so herein lies the quandary that isn’t really a quandary anymore because I solved it in 2014, when I became a Jewtheran. I decided that I couldn’t entirely commit to the label of Lutheran/Lewthrrran or to the label of Jew, but that I could commit to them in concert. I began practicing Jewtheranism on October 17, 2014, when I secretly performed a Jewtheran ceremony in the backroom of a cellar.
I am well aware that it is a little beyond nunorthodox for a postulary epistolary novitiate to hold such a ceremony , let alone for a nun to accept the three-in-one and marry herself to The Church. What I am telling you is completely (n)unheard of! I know of no other nuns to have married The Church-x-3 this way! My probationary status allows me to be a heavenly heretic. And now, Readrrr, you learn why I never made it through to the final stages of nunhood. Nuns do not typically marry three churches in one– they usually just marry one, but I justify my threesome by virtue of the fact that the three are, indeed, compact into one. The nuns make a holy vow to remain faithful to their Lord and Savior when they marry the Cat-holic church. The nuns take refuge in the Lord. The Lord and Savior protects them from whatever it is they’re running from– usually from earthly marriage. This is, in my opinion, what renders the nuns the consummate and original “runaway brides.” They became brides to avoid being brides. Isn’t it ironic.
I’ll be the first to admit I’ve always wanted to be a bride. When I was a yewthful probationary nun, I used to look through magazines and tape pictures of wedding dresses to my cell walls. I used to dream about being adored and adorned, and I had a romantic, pining, soul well before it was complicated by (n)unavoidable “coming of age” primal urges. Skip ahead many years, and I found myself in a pickle. The pickle I was in was a Sistrrr Church. I was on the verge of becoming an adult(err S).
No sin is worse than a nun who enters into adult(err S)hood prematurely. I had to stop myself! I could not commit adultery, so I did what any other extremely sane nun would do: I performed a marriage ceremony in the convent basement so I could feel right with God about marrying the Jewtheran Church.
It was Luther’s Small Catechism and its pronouncement of the Hexth Commandment: ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery’ that led me to use our witchcraft skills to perform for us an emergency adultery-prevention hex ceremony. The Vat had scheduled two events in its Apocalyptic Calendar for October 25, 2014: one was a “Cold Cuts Celebration” and the other was a “Mandatory Become an Adult(err err) Day.” Now what in God’s name was The Vat thinking, forcing the nuns celebrate cold cuts and become adult(err err)s?!
I couldn’t stop the Cold Cut Celebration but I could prevent my self from becoming an adult(err err). Knowing that being an adult(err err) is a sin and reading about the Hex-th Commandment gave me ideas on how I could get my sistrrrly self to stay a child (of God) forever. The plan was to go back into the garden of Eden, via the sacred ceremony, and to become one with the church-ch-ch so that becoming an adult(err err) would be impossible. Don’t question the lo-gic, Readrrr; just be (n)understanding. We had to become children again through the bond of marriage.
Once I decided to marry ye old church++, I flew into action and immediately began planning an (n)underground affair in the hopes that doing so would absolve me from any adult(err-us) sins that might be committed by The Vat. Serving as wedding planner to my own holy occasion, I had about one week of time and zero dollars to make my ceremonial dreams come trew. But I did it. Using that old spiritual art: witchcraft. The witchcraft of my creative intellect.
At the ceremony, three became one and one married one and one was one, and the one that was one was good. (Sound familiar? Vaguely?)
I read aloud the Biblical passage that Sappho dedicated to me (“The Branch of Jesse” / Isaiah 11).
I read aloud the Biblical passage that I dedicated to Sappho (“The Future Glory of Zion” / Isaiah 54)
And that is all, dear Readrrr, that I will tell you about this ceremony.
The good news is that my creative efforts prevented me from becoming an adult(errr errr) and acted as a shield against any sins I might have been forced to commit during National Cold Cuts Day (aka National Bologna Day).
Cheers to Jewtheranism and to the Ceremony of Ceremonies of Ceremonies!
“What God has joined together let no one put asunder”