Pitting my Catholic co-worker

Actually, raw fish is really good, especially if it’s on top of a small ball of seasoned rice (50/50 mix of rice vinegar and sugar)

MMM…sushi :wink:

A year or three ago, St. Patrick’s Day fell on a Friday. While this would not be such the travesty if one were, say, Pagan (I do not recall there being any Pagan proscriptions against eating meat on Friday), many Irish folk are Catholic/Christian, if in some cases only nominally. Some US-based church official or other basically said that the purpose of not eating meat was to give up something just as Christ gave up something (can you tell I was beginning to be seriously lapsed at this point?;)). So as long as you abstained from something meaningful to you (like, for me, the board, though as I’m no longer Christian I don’t give up anything this time of year), the result remained the same.

It used to be something akin to (if not the very thing) dogma that Catholics didn’t eat meat on ANY Friday. Then came word from the Vatican (and I have no idea when this was, but IIRC within the past hundred years) that really as long as you purposefully abstained from something, it didn’t much matter what you ate. Unfortunately, the parochial high school I attended still went with the “no meat on Friday” rule, which meant Clam Chowder (to which I might be deathly allergic … I have no strong desire to find out either way) every Friday along with fish sticks or something similarly revolting.

Were you to tell your cow-orker this, you might get less complaining, but then you might get a reaction like “That’s not true! Why are you trying to tempt me? WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH I am a persecuted minority!” etc.

Or you could simply stuff a half-pound of well-seasoned ground beef in her mouth any time she opens it to complain. If nothing else, the resulting meat spew would be hilarious.

Sheesh. What a whiner.

The only times I have ever complained about not being able to eat meat on Friday during Lent was when the company I worked for was holding United Way sponsored “employee appreciation days”. There were usually two a year, invariably. One would always be on a Friday during Lent. The employee dining room was always closed on these days, so we had to eat the buffet food laid out for us by UW, and there were never any real vegetarian food options, despite the fact that it was well known that a hefty percentage of the employees were Catholic. I usually ended up with some veggies and pasta with parmesan cheese sprinkled over the top- no sauce, because the only sauce available contained meat. Then it wasn’t so much not being able to eat meat I was complaining about- I’m Byzantine Catholic, and in the Greek churches, we don’t eat meat on Friday year round, and there are a good number of us who choose to abstain on Wednesday as well. For me, the problem was there wasn’t really much of anything else for me to eat. At least if the EDR had been open, I could have gotten a cheese quesadilla- the food service guys were really nice.

Oh, and I’m allergic to most kinds of fish. I can handle tuna and sardines, but that’s about it, and I get tired of tuna, and don’t really like sardines all that much.

No, no, not in the drawer. The Slim Jims must be displayed prominently on top of the desk, in something like a mug, maybe. And for maximum effect, open a Slim Jim just before lunch and just before quitting time, so that Annoying Coworker can have the scent of spiced beef in her nostrils as she chokes down one of those TERRIBLE meatless meals.

And I remember the year that St. Patrick’s day fell on a Friday and the bishop gave a special dispensation for people to eat corned beef on March 17. I have to admit, I am partial to corned beef myself, and have a brisket of it in the freezer even as I type. Mmmmmmm, boiled New England dinner…Even better, I’m the only human in my family who likes corned beef, so I get to eat it all myself. Well, my cat likes it too, but she doesn’t eat much.

Good fucking god what a whiner!

I haven’t eaten meat in 17 years and I haven’t shrivelled up and died. :rolleyes:

That sounds very odd to me.
Do you really mean that you had not previously heard Joe or Maria say “I am a Catholic” ? If that’s what you mean, is it not more likely that you did not know they were Catholics because they never felt any particular desire to inform you of that. And why should they? Why would *you * be interested?

Not all Catholics are like the “look at me, I’m suffering for my religion, pay attention to me, you heathen” queen in the OP.

Or do you mean that non-self-descriptors are really **not ** Catholics and they just popped along to Mass on Ash Wednesday for the express purpose of getting ashes?

It ain’t like the priest drags in random people off the street into the church and daubs them under protest, you know. People walking round with ashes on their forehead on Ash Wednesday are most certainly Catholics. Of course they are. Just because Degrance is unaware of someone’s religion doesn’t mean that person has no religion. It just means Degrance isn’t privy to that information.

And as for “self-describing”?
Of course they are self-describing; the description is right there for you and the world to see on Ash Wednesday.

No I mean people who I have know rather well and have heard say, in one case, “I was raised Catholic but I am now non-practicing.” Sure enough on AW they were wearing ashes. I didn’t say anything.

In another instance I worked with someone who told me they were (some other Christian denomination which I can’t recall but not Anglican/Episcipalian) during a previous conversation. I then saw them on AW and said that I thought they were denomination X. They said, “Yeah, but I went with a freind of mine.”

Seems like there have been similar events that I can’t remember now but the previous two happened in the last 5 years.

I’d tell her, “I know you can’t eat meat, but according to Vatican II, you are allowed to have a big, steaming cup of Shut the Fuck Up.”

Not eating meat on Fridays during Lent is one of the last remnants of a much more complicated system of self-denial from days gone by. Fish was considered a “humble food”, unlike meat, so it was allowed. It would be a bit of a problem to disallow so much food that people starved, after all…

Meat used to be out every Friday all year long and for the whole of Lent. Go back a little further, and eggs, oils, sweets, and milk and other dairy products were forbidden for Lent, thus the tradition of “Fat Tuesday” when people made pancakes or some other sweet fried food and ate up all of those soon to be forbidden foods that would otherwise be left to spoil. Consider that at this time many people didn’t have fresh fruits and vegetables in late winter and early spring, and you’ll appreciate that the diet got a little monotonous. (Oh boy, bread and fish again!) Pleasurable activities were also forbidden - no dancing, no weddings and other celebrations, and oh yeah, no sex. Married couples would sometimes rearrange their sleeping arrangements so they were in separate beds for the duration, if they could; at any rate, the priest could count back and if he figured out that baby you brought to the baptismal font must have been conceived during Lent, he’d see to it you had the extra penance that deserved.

If the whiny co-worker had gone to church on Ash Wednesday, she would have heard this Gospel:

"When you pray,
do not be like the hypocrites,
who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners
so that others may see them.
Amen, I say to you,
they have received their reward.
But when you pray, go to your inner room,
close the door, and pray to your Father in secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you fast,
do not look gloomy like the hypocrites.
They neglect their appearance,
so that they may appear to others to be fasting.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you fast,
anoint your head and wash your face,
so that you may not appear to be fasting,
except to your Father who is hidden.
And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.”

Dammit, hit Submit instead of Preview and I wasn’t done yet! Anyway, compared to this, the modern practice of giving up meat for eight lousy days a year and not snacking for two of them doesn’t sound all that rough, does it? On top of that, maybe your co-worker is only drinking plain coffee instead of her usual triple caramel lattes. Wow, what a sacrifice.

Several priests and nuns told me when I was growing up that they themselves stuck with vegetarian food on the days of abstinence, and recommended that to others. Regardless, as one priest told our ninth-grade class, “Even though they’re both within the letter of the law, baked pollock is also in keeping with its spirit; an all-you-can-eat lobster feast isn’t.”

This thread makes me grateful that I was raised as a Protestant, making Lent optional. It’s the definition of hypocrisy to whine about a (compulsory) spiritual exercise, but doubly so to whine about the same type of exercise when you are the only one forcing you to do it.

Lutheransim: all the liturgy of Catholicism, without the dogma and guilt :wink:

Probably veggie lover’s pizza is out, too. At least it would be for me, as ANY pizza is an indulgence for me. Fortunately, I am an atheist.

I think that what many people don’t realize is that Lent and Easter are THE major Christian holy days. The crucifixation and resurrection of the Christ should be the cornerstone of the Christian faith, as the resurrection was the ONLY real proof that he was, as he claimed, the son of God incarnate. Lent is supposed to focus a Christian’s mind on Christ. Apparently the annoying coworker is only focussed on how much she’s giving up, not WHY she’s giving it up. Of course, these days we’ve commercialized it, and it’s somewhat reverted to the pagan holiday that it took over, which celebrates fertility and the rebirth of the world.

My main gripe about Easter is that so many retailers put out so much really bad candy intended for kids’ Easter baskets, which my husband buys and hands to me proudly, telling me that he got it at a really good price. It’s SO bad that I will frequently throw it away.

The comment about Randy Savage made me giggle so hard I shot something from my nose. It was just water and not a true booger, so no worries.

Gosh, I’m not even a vegetarian, but most of the time, I don’t eat meat! Usually I don’t even notice the fact that I’m not eating any. Let’s see. Flavourful, yummy broccoli and mushrooms on rice versus bland, boring hamburger that upsets my stomach? No contest!

And Kraft Dinner is totally awesome. I’d rather eat Kraffy than meat!

Just be glad she isn’t a Muslim. During the season of Ramadan (a period of 30 days than is determined by the moon and the Islamic Calendar–IIRC it’ll be in September/October this year) a Muslim may not eat OR drink from sunrise to sunset. Smoking and fornication are also on the no-no list. So the big meal of the day is Iftar, or right after sunset.

And the funny thing is, I worked four years in the Middle East with Muslims all around and never heard one bitch and moan like that woman did–or break fast.

Stiff upper lip in front of the infidel, I guess. :smiley: :wink:

Slim Jims contain meat?? Who knew??

I’m Catholic, and she should actually be fasting, as an adult Catholic. And she should be quiet about it, otherwise she’s missing the point.

Print out this quote from the Catholic Catechism and tape it to her desk before she comes in in the morning. :smiley:

…laughing my ass off, vunderbob.
This is exactly what I (a Lutheran) often tell my husband (a lapsed Catholic).