Posts Tagged ‘Religion’

What better time to gripe about the Catholic Church than the Easter Season

March 21, 2008

I was born and raised Catholic. I went to a Catholic grade school, a Catholic high school, and I’m at a Catholic university right now.  Thus, it’s become pretty hard for me to understand why I find myself parting ways with the Church on so many levels.

Perhaps it’s for reasons such as the Pope’s addition of Seven (new) Deadly Sins to the previous seven: abortion, social injustice, pollution, selling drugs, contraception, genetic engineering, and being obscenely wealthy.

Looking at the Church’s view of the fetus, abortion is not so far-fetched, but with the Church’s unflinching stance on “respecting life from birth until NATURAL DEATH”, why is the death penalty not on the list?
Social injustice seems ridiculously broad, but I won’t argue that…for now
Pollution though… As any of my regular readers will know,  I love the environment, and I think it’s important to care for it; however we can’t expect to  stop pollution on a dime (Does that make sense?). In order to find alternatives to pollution, we have to pollute. Research requires the burning of fossil fuels and natural gases, sorry. Helping Third World countries by flying food out to them (in order to prevent social injustice, mind you) requires that we pollute.
I don’t really have anything against the addition of selling drugs to the list. It ruins lives, but why isn’t using drugs, then on the list?
Contraception is an interesting addition to the Seven Deadly Sins. I feel like the Church might as well add premarital sex to the list, seeing as the majority of contraception products are used by non-married couples. However, adding contraception to the list seems to hammer home the Church’s already heavy-handed stance that once a married couple is done having children, sex too must cease. I see so many problems with this logic. We are animals, as much as the Church wants to deny it. Surely, if a husband or wife decides to follow Catholic upbringings and tell the significant other that they refuse to have sex ever again, couldn’t this encourage the husband or wife to have an extramarital affair? Wouldn’t continuing to have sex as a married couple only foster the love and intimacy marriage is meant to promote?
Genetic Engineering is a sticky subject. While the science is taking some actions that screw with nature, it is also searching for quicker methods to manufacture insulin for men and women with diabetes. It is helping scientists do more expansive research to study and cure cancer. We cannot make a sweeping statement and say that genetic engineering is all bad.
And finally… being obscenely wealthy too is now a deadly sin. Isn’t it possible to be obscenely wealthy and still be a good person? Donate to charity? Go to church? Love your family and others? Guilting people out of being obscenely wealthy is only going to serve to derail capitalism and turn us into a Communist State…. something else the Church is strongly against.

As confessions are on the decline, many speculate that the Church created these new sins to help up the number of confessions. However, one must wonder why the Pope hasn’t added “child molestation” to the list of sins. Perhaps because it targets too many of its own in ways that these other sins absolutely cannot?

You are absolved of your sins.

Before you diss Islam, know your Christianity first… And quit generalizing, too.

January 1, 2008

While chatting with a friend the other day about religion, he cited this passage from the Quran: “Prophet make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal rigorously with them. Hell shall be their home: an evil fate” (Quran 9:73) “Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah, and those who reject faith fight in the cause of evil: so fight ye against the friends of Satan” (Quran 4:76), and of course, he referenced suicide bombings.

 

 

The direct correlation between Islam and September 11, the assertions that all Muslims are America-haters and Christian-killers, that the religion teaches them to either convert non-believers or exterminate them… all of this I’ve heard time and time again, and all of it I roll my eyes at. The overt hypocrisy, the vast generalizations, and the sheer idiocy of these remarks are so easy to see, yet even easier to overlook.

 

 

The Christian Bible’s Old Testament repeatedly calls on those of faith to either convert or kill non-believers. For example, Deuteronomy 17 states, “17:2 If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant; 17:3 And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded; 17:4 And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and enquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel; 17:5 Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die.”

 

Why can we point out passages in the Quran that call for extermination of infidels while we continue to ignore the very passages in the CHRISTIAN BIBLE that promote the exact same actions? What makes our “peaceful” Christian religion justified in its writings urging murder yet labels Islam a violent faith?

 

After reaching this point in the argument, I am usually reminded of the events of September 11; I’m told that terrorists bombed the World Trade Center in the name of their faith, and thus, any faith that promotes such a thing must surely be a hostile one. I’d like to direct anyone who chooses to utilize this argument back to the actions of our peaceful Christian brothers and sisters. Think of the Christians who have blown up abortion clinics or attacked doctors and nurses who work there in the name of Christianity. Is this not a similar concept? European countries in the 16 and 1700s colonized and enslaved the people of Africa and Asia in the name of Christianity, in the name of saving the savage people from their filthy sin filled lives. Their land and resources were exploited and their human dignity ravaged all disguised under a veil of Christianity’s greater good, of a mission to bring the Christian faith to those who were too stupid and too uncivilized to know it.

 

But no, it is the Muslims who are violent.

 

The men who bombed the World Trade Center were not Muslims at all. The faith strictly forbids alcohol consumption, loose sexual values, and gambling, yet the terrorists of 911 drank heavily, utilized the service of prostitutes, and visited casinos all the night before their act of terrorism was to be executed. Wouldn’t it seem that men who are thought to be killing American lives all in the name of Islam would be interested in rigidly following the basic rules of their faith?

 

“Oh yes, well the Quran states that those who die for their faith will be rewarded greatly in heaven.” I would like to guide you toward Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount for a response to this argument. “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake/ Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. (Matthew 5:11-12). We honor martyrs and pray to saints, many of whom have died in the name of their Christian faith. We immortalize those who have died for the sake of Christianity… Sound familiar?

 

Of course, at this point I must add a disclaimer, although I know that there will still be someone who chooses to point this out: I am in no way saying that Islam is never used by evil people as a shield for evil deeds. However, we have to remember to separate the religion from the people. By this I mean, while the faith itself may say one this, someone else may interpret it to mean something else, something violent and hostile, and may act on it. This does not mean that that is what all Muslims believe!

 

Again, to Christianity… Some Christians believe that only through baptism can one be saved. Even if one has never heard of Jesus Christ, because that person has not been baptized and does not accept Christ as his or her savior (again, not by choice but because the belief in Christ has never been made known to that person), that person will go to hell. Not all Christians believe this. Not all Christians believe that homosexuality is a sin; not all Christians believe that the death penalty is bad; not all Christians believe evolution is real; not all Christians choose to wait to have sex until after marriage. This means that Christianity, like Islam, is not a uniform belief. Some people believe and do one thing while some people believe and do another. It is not just to generalize a whole people, an ENTIRE FAITH on the actions of the few or with regards to the events that we see on the news. It’s not fair, and it’s not right.

 

I really am becoming more and more disgusted with the hatred and bigotry toward Islam. Yes, there are bad Muslims out there, and Christians and Jews, and Hindus and atheists. We have to stop judging and entire faith on our shallow predispositions and skin-deep generalizations. We have to let go of our contempt and judgmental attitudes and stop being so childish and inane.

 

More senseless idealism and bleeding-heart liberalism from an untainted nineteen year old youth.
“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”
MLK Jr.

 

Perhaps it’s not too late…