Everyone has an oddball Uncle George. He or She is the family member who claims not to be racist while spewing forth stereotypes; or has the habit of picking his teeth during thanksgiving dinner; or wears socks with sandals. Clearly not all social crimes are equal.Catholic oddballs

My Uncle George precedes the word Jew with damn. This otherwise sane and loving man has a thing about Jews. His knee jerk racism makes my skin crawl. I can look to his upbringing to excuse his behavior, but there really is no excuse. There is also no changing his mind. The one time I dared retort that Jesus was a Jew, I came very close to having to perform CPR. So, what do I do about Uncle George?
I can disassociate myself from him. Uninvite him to my house on the holidays. Pretend we are not related. The problem is that I love Uncle George. He held me when I was a baby. He played peek-a-boo. And, aside from his Jew phobia, he continues to inspire me with his kindness and goodness.
Uncle George stays in my life; while his racism is excluded from my heart.
I feel the same way about the Church. I prayerfully cannot agree with one hundred percent of the church’s positions on social issues, but I agree with about ninety percent. For me that is enough.

Do you have an oddball Uncle George?  I’d love to hear about him. (more…)