An Immaculate Misconception
















This is not a religious post.

This is a post about something I thought I knew and didn't.

Driving to Dublin recently, I heard on the radio that a poll had discovered that lots of people in Ireland didn't really know much about their religion and stuff.

Are you with me so far?

90% of people, my radio said, did not know what 'The Immaculate Conception' was.

I snorted derisively. Try it, it's not easy... keep a little scrap of tissue handy just in case.

"I, for one", I said, "know what that is!".

Then... well... then they told me what it was... and I was wrong.

I was really wrong.

Now I was so sure that I knew what 'The Immaculate Conception' was that, had I been asked this question at the million pound point on 'Who Wants To Be a Millionaire' I would have answered confidently, arrogantly and, as it turns out, completely incorrectly.

It just goes to show you... something.

So, do you think you know what the 'Immaculate Conception' is? Check here and see if you're right:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immaculate_Conception

I kinda reckon you're not.

This is what I thought it was:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immaculate_Conception#Common_misinterpretations

No... the links are not 'Rick Rolls'...


31 comments:

AvidReader said...

Sorry Ken, maybe as an Italian Catholic, we learned these things... or maybe cause my mom was born on the feast of the Immaculate Conception and her name is Conception...

Relax Max said...

Actually only Catholics call it that. But I knew it. Of course I knew it. At least I know it isn't what most people THINK it is. Ummm... is there a prize or anything? 'Cause this isn't really that much fun for free, Ken.

K. said...

It's not like the Catholic Church ever made a major effort to shine a light on its dogma. My recollection is that we were supposed to the parish priest's/bishop's/Pope's word for whatever, put money in the collection, and keep our mouths shut.

fragileheart said...

LOL I learnt that in Sunday School too. In a British Roman Catholic School in a Muslim Country. How about them apples? :P

Ohio Real Estate said...

I think I owned the misconception for 31 years... But I DO know that the moon is larger than en elephant, so whatever.

*Oh and years ago, I made it to the final round for Millionaire* I passed the phone speed test, etc... I just lost the lottery draw after that...*

If you didn't know enough about Mary, at least you know a little more about me. I also love cabbage.

Aywren said...

Wow... okay. I'm in the same boat as you. I had that totally mixed up. Thanks for setting the record straight. *head scratch*

Lyndi said...

I would have made the same mistake you did. This just goes to show how little things get stuck in our minds and we just blindly accept these to be the truth.

Penny said...

Well I had the same misconception. Interesting, I actually didn't know much about that.

I had a similar thing when I was younger and was convinced, and nobody could convince me otherwise, that Bob Marley wrote 'Don't Worry Be Happy'...

Rachel Fox said...

Well, if it does ever come up as a question and wins me a million pounds I will always have you to thank. Then I will start a religion with you as its centrepiece! I could put all those stories of you to good use...
x

Reese said...

Wow! I am smart! I did know this. Not bad for a Protestant!
I didn't learn this in church. I learned it in a history class!

I do really well at Millionaire, while sitting in my living room. I'm sure I would be like a deer in the headlights if I ever went on the show =o)

Susan said...

I had it right, but then I'm a librarian and owner of a thousand holy cards. I wonder if my kids know...not sure! And as one of them will be taking first communion very soon, I think I'll pass this on.

But you're right, a lot of us don't know our religion very well at all, no matter what the religion is.

Mark said...

I thought it was a pile of religious nonsense and it turns out it was.

Atheistzinggggggg!

Canucklehead said...

Yep - I was with you. Of course, I'm not exaclty the 'go-to guy' for this type of info. In fact, if I had a second guess it would have been Franco Harris's catch in the 1972 AFC divisional playoff game ...

/ the more you know!

SUSAN SONNEN said...

Yes, I feel like a dork now. And here I thought that I knew Christianity pretty well!

Descartes said...

Ah those Catholics and their silly terms and ideas! I had the usual misconception, but then, I am not a Catholic and such minutia should not really be considered common knowledge.

Ken Armstrong said...

Thank you all for engaging with this - I wasn't sure anyone would care to.

Avidreader: Conception is a nice name for your mum. I've never met a Conception, I've met a Concepta and an Assumpta. I wonder if any guys are called, like, Fertilisation? Perhaps not. :)

Max: No prize. You could be bluffing, you see. Have you tried singing my version of 'Tie Me Kangaroo Down' yet? I bet it's the same one that Catherine knows...

K: Put money in the collection? My that's posh! I was at a Mass once where the collection plate came around and an elderly man fainted and 322 volunteers carried him outside. :)

Fragileheart: You *are* a tight little mixture of diverse cultures, aren't you?

Ohio Real Estate: Can cabbage be loved? I like cabbage, that's about as far as I've gone with cabbage. To date anyway.

Aywren: It *is* a head scratcher, isn't it?

Lyndi: Now you can teach the little one the truth of the matter. :)

Penny: Bob didn't... he... oh God!

Rachel: Note this: if it comes up and you will a million then 'thank you' will not suffice. :)

Reese: Protestant? Ahhhh! (runs away) (kidding) :)

Susan: I knew you'd knew this. Not cos your religious or anything, it's just you're *such* as smart-arse. :)

Mark: Who am I to argue with you? Nobody, that's who! :)

Canucklehead: Don't come peddling your controversies over here mate!!
:)

Susan Sonnen: Yes, that's how I felt. I'm not majorly into religion but I kinda thought I knew the basics pretty well. I wonder what else I've gone wrong. 'Bit worried now...

Descartes: Wow, thanks for dropping by dude. I'm tempted to try a limerick about you just to prove that I know how to pronounce your name. Later, perhaps.

Generally, I think we are above average with the amount of people who knew this. You commenters certainly are an impressive bunch! :)

AvidReader said...

Ken, yes, well it is the word conception in Italian... LOL, however, as teens we used to snigger behind our hands at Mom's first name, thank goodness we called her Mom!

hope said...

Okay, so I chalked believing incorrectly to being raised Baptist. ;)

I still believe in God. Deacons passing the plate, not so much. {They had the worst kids in town!}

belongum said...

Bunch of clever cookies you got here than Ken. I had it all arse about face too... and I got all that 'good' old catholic 'edumacashun' and all too!

*sighhhhh*

Back to sunday school I go eh?! ;-)

Reese said...

Careful Ken, My Protestant cooties may rub off on you! My family is English and Welsh and my husband's is Irish. Makes for interesting conversations at family picnics! No blood has been shed yet!

Dave King said...

Sorry Ken, but I DID know - and I was Right. All I can say in my own defense is that I am not a Catholic, have never been a Catholic, and hope that that somehow explains me knowing it.

Tink said...

In Dutch it's called "onbevlekte ontvangenis". I went to a Roman catholic school as a kid... I always felt sorry for Maria that she didn't have the fun part. ;-)

Laura said...

I'm sorry but it just sounds stupid to me. Mary is the Immaculate Conception? No one is perfect or free of mistakes. As if the whole concept of hell were not enough. Stuff like this is why I didn't follow the standard religions. I don't want to step on anyone's religious/ spiritual toes but do you really worship this nonsense.

Ken Armstrong said...

AvidReader: NOW I need to know what the word conception is in Italian... hang on... ah... I see, (won't write to down for privacy.

Hope: The plate is Fun! It beings out the best and worst in people.

belongum: I'll come with you, where's me shoes? :)

Reese: Don't worry some of my best friends are Protestant. Salt of the Earth!!

Dave: I've think you've cracked it. It's only those who really should know that don't. :)

Tink: That's funny. Poor Mary indeed. :)

Laura: Hmmm, I've rewritten this bit of the comments a few times. You're right, of course, in the same way that everyone is completely right about their beliefs. :) Beyond that, I think I'll just refer you back to the (very deliberate) first two lines of this post. Now I'll run away... :)

Jenn Thorson said...

Okay, I was also wrong in my thinking, apparently.

Matthew S. Urdan said...

Hahaha! I got it right, even though I'm Jewish....but I can't believe that woman thought that an Elephant is bigger than the MOON! That cracked me up! Cheers mate!

Relax Max said...

I tried, Ken. I couldn't think of anything that rhymed with beastiality. Except psychotherapy. Sort of. Anyway, I've moved on to 1965. :)

@Canucklehead - Ken is probably not that into the 1972 Steelers or Franco Harris, but I for one thought your comment was hilarious. But what do I know. (Just to save you googling, Ken, it was a superbowl thing and was referred to as the immaculate reception. You had to be there.)

Ken Armstrong said...

Jenn: You should append to you comment, "... just this once." :)

Matt: My Jewish friends seem pretty good on Holy Mary. Well done! :)

Max: You're on the wrong track, I will nip over and do you a verse, you can edit it out for crudity if you wish, I won't be mad. :) I would do it here but, come on, this is the Holy Mary post. I must behave.

I didn't get Linc's reference so thanks for that. He always makes me laugh anyway. He's One in a Million (T. G) :)

Jennifer said...

As a non-Catholic who went to the Catholic University of American (which has a Shrine of the Immaculate Conception) and who befriended several priests-in-training (none of whom are now priests), I can tell you that I had a misconception about this very thing ... until I had a conversation about it recently with my Catholic convert mother (now lapsed) who works at CUA -- and gets the Feast day off. (Actually, I think it was the Feast day that got us talking about it. She gets some really good holidays.)

And now I know all about it.

Jena Isle said...

Hello Ken.

I've known this since high school, having studied in a catholic convent school, where we prayed five times a day -meals, morning and evening prayers - and attended mass daily. We also had confessions every week, or as often as we sinned. We had also a subject called religion 1 to 4, where we studied the scriptures and everything about the Holy Bible...lol

That was why when I went to college I wanted to find my own meaning of what religion is, I started finding no meaning in these religious rituals. I felt that being pious does not necessarily mean being good, that daily masses should find their way through our daily actions with other people-that it should be evident in the generous way we treat people. I think I'm finding the balance now...I surely hope so.

All the best and God bless you.

Julian Self said...

Also not to be confused with the Immaculate Contraception, which was the name of the oft rinsed and re-used prophylactic device shared amongst the young men of Devizes during those lean years immediately following the end of the Great War.