Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Pride is a Sin Too

I recently read a very good post about Catholic parenting and parenting in general in which the author described herself as being a "crunchy" parent in some ways and a "creamy" parent in others using the metaphor of types of peanut butter to classify different elements and dimensions in her parenting.

Yeah, I'll admit, I'm somewhere between the two. I breastfeed, but have all c-sections. I immunize, but we try to grow a lot of our veggies too (which is every bit about the money as the nutrients). I've worn Birkenstocks and I've worn patent leather pumps.

What struck me about this post and some posts I've read elsewhere, is that this mom is trying desparately to say that while she doesn't agree with everyone's parenting in the world, she is also not interested in fighting over whether it's a good thing to shave your arm pits or not or whether the decision to make some clothes for her kids is about sustainability of the land or economic sustainability.

Nothing turns me off more than when someone comes up to me and professes their way of life is the best. That's true in parenting, religion, politics you name it. What offends me is when someone does one of these things online and uses a pseudonym or tries to remain anonymous. While I will admit, there are some situations where, for personal safety or to protect the privacy of someone else your identity may need to be kept under wraps, but I have seen many an open forum where people are using obscurity to go after one another and attack each other.

And lately, I've seen A LOT of this going on on Catholic sites. What is so important for me to remember is that pride is a sin. When we tout our way as the best way and only way and all others are going to you know where if they don't comply and ESPECIALLY when we do this anonymously so that we can't be called out by name, we are acting out of sinful pride. Now, I am not talking about calling someone out who is speaking falsely about the church or against the truths taught by the church or someone who is doing something that is harmful to a child (starving them for example), but, when we make a snarky comment about how someone gave their child a piece of chocolate during lent and how our child knows better than to ever ask for something so indulgent whether it is what is being given up or not and we do it under a pseudonym (like SuperCatholicMom or the like) or anonymously, are we not acting out of pride. Are we not trying to make ourselves better than the person we are comparing ourselves to?

It's a careful dance, but we must always remember that anonymous on the internet to readers or not, God knows who is at the other end of the ip address. And it is to God that we must answer when our pride gets the better of us.