Friday, January 06, 2006

And There Really Is A Hogwarts, Too

I finally got hold of Ann Coates, the mastermind behind the Adult Academy in Eden Prairie.

First of all, let me say that Ann Coates is a woman of excellent literary taste. It took her a year and a half to read "The Da Vinci Code" because it was so stunningly boring. "I just didnt' think it was that good. And I am not interested in reading anything else by Dan Brown."

She decided to host the seminar anyway, though. "Between the movie and the book, I thought it would be good to offer a forum."

I asked her what it was about Opus Dei that was so frightening.

"Well," she said, " for one thing, nobody even knows if they exist or not!"

AlI I could do was try to break it to her gently.

"Are you Catholic?" she demanded.

"Yes."

"Well....that's why you know about it, then," she said. "I'm not Catholic so that's why I didn't know."

[Full disclosure: I am not a Buddhist. But I know who the Dalai Lama is. I'm not a Protestant, but I know what Campus Crusade is. I'm not Hasidic but I can tell you who Rabbi Schneerson was, I'm not a New Ager but... well, you get the idea.]


"Look," she went on, "I don't even know what Opus Dei is. All I know is from the novel. " And as to the "frightful" bit , "I just go with what the teacher write. I didn't question it."

Well. There's really only one word for it:

Inspiring.


So I've decided to submit a few course proposals myself. You can sign on online at www.publiceducationiswortheverytaxpayersdimeIswear.com


"Paul *Is* Dead!" A renowned Minnesota "symbologist" examines the clues in the famous 'Abbey Road' photograph and unravels the secret behind such *masterpieces* as "ebony and Ivory" and the Coca-Cola jingle."

" In Synch!" Guest instructors Milli Vanilli show us how to break into the pop star biz.

"Leibe Diary." A close textual examination of the famous "Hitler diaries" discovered in 1983. We will pore over such entries as "Der Bingle- ach, meine herze!" and "MONTY IST EIN FRAULEIN!!"

14 comments:

N8 said...

Hey, really, what's the deal with Opus Dei? I see that maybe I should know who they are, but I don't.

I grew up in Minneapolis, what part do you live in?

Sue said...

Opus Dei is an association for Catholic laypeople. The goal of Opus Dei is to help lay people- in other words people who aren't priests or religious- to live holy lives. There are different types of membership. Some members live together in residences- residences for men or women- and live celibate, prayerful lives, but otherwise they're pretty much like everyone else, going to work every day,taking thier cars to the mechaninc, payikng their taxes etc.- but most Opus Deis members are just regular folks, married or not. who get together with other OD'ers once a month or so for prayer and reflection.- Sue

Sue said...

Opus Dei is an association for Catholic laypeople. The goal of Opus Dei is to help lay people- in other words people who aren't priests or religious- to live holy lives. There are different types of membership. Some members live together in residences- residences for men or women- and live celibate, prayerful lives, but otherwise they're pretty much like everyone else, going to work every day,taking thier cars to the mechaninc, payikng their taxes etc.- but most Opus Deis members are just regular folks, married or not. who get together with other OD'ers once a month or so for prayer and reflection.- Sue

Christopher McLaughlin said...

Uh-oh... you're gonna hear from Maggie again...

N8 said...

Thanks for clearing that up, Sue. I'll keep checking back in on your blog.

Proteinstar said...

Fantastic blog...Ann Coulter actually recommended it. Not that I go with everything Ms. Coulter recommends. But still very funny reading!

irishengineer said...

Great blog, I found you through Ann Coulter's site.

Christine said...

Great post! Thanks for your kind words about my blog, by the way. Your piece on the pope (I had to search my memory!) was one of my favorites in the flurry of articles. I have always remembered that passage that I highlighted about his absense during Mass because it was so touching.

I read Da Vinci Code, by the way, and it wasn't that well-written in my opinion. Before the middle of the book (once we'd been told what the Grail "really" was) I'd already figured out the "surprise" ending. And the arguments Brown puts forth aren't anything new, even to me (a cradle Catholic). They are simple to dispute, and anyone with half a CCD education ought to be able to see straight through it.

Sometimes, the misconceptions put out about the Church (or the misrepresentations) are so bad and so off that you just have to laugh at it! I mean, the people who write this stuff usually have NO clue at all about the Catholic Church!!

Christopher McLaughlin said...

Therefore, Christine, educating the left, if successful, means running the risk of eliminating a wonderful source of our daily amusement.

Tony said...

The goal of Opus Dei is to help lay people- in other words people who aren't priests or religious- to live holy lives. There are different types of membership.

Awww... Opus Dei only helps me live a holy life? I'm bummed. I was hoping to become a super-secret-Catholic-Jedi-ninja like on the DaVinci Code!!!! :)

Christopher McLaughlin said...

TONY!!! Shhhhh. Not a word of that to Ann Coates and especially not to George Tkach.

lizzy said...

"Well....that's why you know about it, then," she said. "I'm not Catholic so that's why I didn't know."

i believe that this is an acceptable reason for not knowing about the opus dei. it's not something discussed everyday. i'm a protestant and i had never heard of them before reading dan brown's book. further strengthening my point is christine's comment that "...anyone with half a CCD education ought to be able to see straight through it." unfortunately, not all of us received that ccd education, so how can you be so cruel to someone lacking this information?

secondly, i do not understand your opposition to the use of the word frightening. i did some independant research, and there is not a lot of information out there about the opus dei. what i did find though is that they are a fundamendalist catholic sect, with a slightly fascist trend. now, for those not familiar with opus dei, as you so apparently are, this information, or maybe even the lack there-of, might be frightening.

thirdly, while this community college course is being paid for by your tax dollars, what are you really trying to accomplish by having this seminar taken away? it could give catholics a chance to dispute the information and for people who don't know about it to find out more. why are you assuming that it is going to be anti-catholic and preaching prejudice? you're just victimizing yourself and your religion.

sincerely,
an american in europe

Sue said...

Ooh, Lizzy. You sound like you've been in Europe too long. (Wild guess- France?)

The point was Ann Coates, an education "professional," read a book of fiction assumed ot was fact. It's pretty bsice: there's fiction, and non-fiction. You learn that very early on in you education. But Ann apparently was absent that day.

As to one's religion being an acceptable reason for ignorance, I guess you could make that argument, If you want to. But like I said there's been enough in the press in the past two years about Opus Dei and the DaVinci code to paper Park Avenue. I dont' know about you but I really think "educators" should keep up with the world aroudn them, at least if their job is to approve courses on contemporary things. But maybe that's just me.

"A fundamentalist Catholic sect witha slightly fascist trend" doesn't sound like "independent research" to me, either. It sounds like an opinion. Hey- you wouldnt' be a journalist by any chance, would you?

Anyway, thanks for your spirited interest.

Sue

Chubbette said...

Ann Coulter sent me.

I came in at this point in the discussion, but I gather you're talking about someone who works for a community college in Minnesota. Maybe your expectations are a bit too high. Community colleges are educational dustbins.

All I knew about Opus Dei is that it's Latin for "the work of God." I haven't noticed any discussion of Opus Dei in the mainstream media. I guess this makes me ignorant, but at least I wasn't relying on the Da Vinci Code for my information.