Q: I understand you're a Typical Catholic. Where do you go to Mass?
A: Well, I don't usually go to Mass, but when I do it's at St. Somewhere.
Q: St. Somewhere. Is that a suburban parish?
A: Yes. You see, the churches in the city - the big beautiful old churches - have all been taken over by the rainbow sash community. And the neighborhoods are dangerous. St. Somewhere is a nice new building with lots of banners and air conditioning and a really nice shopping-mall feel. And a Blessed Sacrament chapel - or room or something. I don't know. They tell me we keep the tabernacle somewhere. And the only "rainbow" guy we have is our associate pastor, but the ladies love him and he's funny - but in that weird and creepy way that priests sometimes - well, my wife likes him. And the music minister is annoying. "Good morning!" he says before Mass starts, and who wants to say "Good morning" back? - though my wife perks up. "Good morning," she says with a smile, louder than anyone else. But the music minister isn't satisfied. GOOD MORNING! I DIDN'T HEAR YOU! he'll say. God, that's hard to take before noon on a Sunday. Even that guy he married in New York last year - the one who stands next to him and plays guitar - gets annoyed with him. And those horrible hymns! Talk about gay! But my wife likes them.
Q: Are you sure you're not at a rainbow sash city parish?
A: No, suburbs. And we've got some good normal Catholics who go there, you know - regular guys, go to all the games their kids play, drink beer - regular fellahs. No different from anybody else! And that's what makes them such good Catholics, in my opinion. They don't put on any airs. No "holier than thou" nonsense. They volunteer at the fish fry, too.
Q: How do you live your faith in your daily life?
A: Oh, in many ways. I'm tolerant, for one thing. I mean, who can judge? And I'm Republican. And I'm pro life. Except - you know - for the tough cases. And I voted for Romney. He was pro-life, wasn't he?
A: Well, I voted for him. And I give money to the United Way and the pink breast cancer thing. And I'm nice, you know. Well, I try to be. That's what Jesus was - nice. It's all about being nice.
Q: Are there any Church teachings you disagree with?
A: Well, we let my daughter's boyfriend sleep in her room when he stays over. But they love each other. She's loved each of her boyfriends, you know. And I'm glad the Church changed their mind on contraception; that was just stupid.
Q: Actually, the Church still teaches that the use of contraception is a grave evil.
A: I don't think so. The priest never mentions it.
Q: No really, the Church teaches -
A: Oh, artificial contraception, you mean. But rubber is from trees. It's a green thing, sort of. I'm into recycling, but not as much as my son - he's kind of nuts in that regard.
Q: The Church also criticizes unrestrained capitalism, condemns usury, torture, lying - even for a good cause. Fornication. These things are all -
A: Oh, Father doesn't care. He's a nice guy. Very tolerant. So is the associate, he's very nice - but the parish secretary. Damn, that woman is just plain mean. She thinks she runs the freaking place! I guess she kinda does.
Q: You say you have a daughter and a son. Do they go to weekly Mass?
A: My son is an atheist. He read something on the internet and stopped believing. Plus he watched that Discovery Channel special on how Jesus was made-up. "Son," I said, "What difference does it make? Just believe!" That didn't seem to help. But my daughter is very strong in her faith. She worships Maya, the Earth Goddess. Very sincere about it, too.
Q: What sort of Faith Formation did they have?
A: Twelve years of Catholic schooling - both of them. Cost a pretty penny, too. I love Catholic Education. Diversity! That's the message. I'm not a liberal, but we need that. And they learned one big lesson - be nice and don't ever love anything enough to fight for it. Good schools.
Q: That's your children. But is there anything else you'd like to tell me about your faith - your own personal faith?
A: Well, look, I'm spiritual, not religious.
Q: I see. Well, thank you, Typical Catholic, for this fascinating -
A: And I sleep with the devil.
Q: You ... what?
A: I sleep with the devil. I don't mean my wife. I mean symbolically, I'm in bed with the devil. I don't, like, let him do me or anything. I'm just in bed with him.
Q: Why do you ... sleep with the devil?
A: Oh, I sold my soul.
Q: You ...
A: Long ago. For thirty pieces of silver and a split-level ranch house. And cable. That came with the deal. I also got a good discount on a 50 inch TV. And all I have to do is crawl in bed with the Prince of Demons at night and go to sleep. That's all I have to do! My wife kind of likes it. It means I leave her alone.
Q: Well, thank you, Typical Catholic, it's been nice talking to you.
A: Nice talking to you too!
Q: Sleep tight.
A: You bet!