Sunday, February 6, 2011

Why I'm not in the Catholic Community

OK, I was encouraged by a reader to "go there", meaning to start shining a bit more light onto the Catholic church. I do have some baggage when it comes to this institution, so I guess it is healthy to start exercising it in some way. So, I'll just number them and go through my issues with the Catholic Church one by one.

1) The Priests themselves

Ohhh my, there are some HUGE issues with the way the priesthood is set up. Yes, there are some great priests out there and I really have no issues against good people doing great work for God. What I do have an issue with is Priests and their relationship with their sexual sides...or lack thereof.

I've always maintained that human beings have three aspects to themselves: the physical, the mental and the spiritual. You're golden if you manage to balance all three of those in your life...you're also very fortunate if you. For me, I was/am spiritual unbalanced...for the priesthood, they are physically unbalanced. They neglect their sexual selves by being celibate. Each priest is sexually unbalanced in a way that is extremely unhealthy for the body, and I would argue for the mind as well. I know, we've seen some very disturbing sexual crimes in the Catholic church, but I'm not convinced that is because of the celibate nature of the priesthood. What I'm more concerned with is that priests are supposed to be our spiritual guides to being human. How can they effectively fulfill that role if they are missing an entire piece of the human experience?

2) Sex, Africa and AIDs

Christians in general have hangups about sex. They love it, but they hate themselves so much for it. This almost relates to #1, but this time it's the Catholic Church's external efforts and attitudes towards sex that I have an issue with. They frown on extramarital sex. They frown on use of condoms. They frown on masturbation. It's no wonder Christians are so dysfunctional...they're all backed up ;)

What's probably most criminal is their whole stance on AIDs...especially in Africa. Go ahead on Google your heart out, but the Catholic church and their activities in Africa are well documented. They are preying on the uneducated...keeping them in the dark while this disease kills. It's disgusting.

3) Recruiting

I remember going to a Catholic wedding for a young couple some years ago. A large portion of the ceremony was directed at recruiting the couple's children into the Catholic church. I sat there, just flabbergasted wondering what gave this priest the idea that these kids would even want to be Catholics. They weren't even born yet and yet this guy has already decided what their spiritual path will be.

Actually, I shouldn't pick on just the Catholic Church on this one. This is an issue for all of the major religions. The decree that one is a Christian, or Muslim or Jew just because your parents are. If God's message is universal and speaks to the human spirit, then that very fact should be enough to let the child find their own path...not to have it dictated to them by birth.

That's it for now...but I do want to hear from others on this.

D

2 comments:

  1. I was raised Catholic and have nothing but disdain for the idiots who brainwashed me in that shitty school and church. I came out of there intensely hateful towards homosexuals, absolutely certain that they were violating at least a few fundamentals of human decency. I'm not sure when that stupidity got out of my mind. To be fair, the education outside of religion and sex were pretty good (no creationism, or possibly worse since it's more dishonest, intelligent design) and another Catholic church that my family began to attend was much more open-minded and loving. It gets in trouble a lot for things like actively rejecting the hierarchy's call to not give communion to unrepentant homosexuals.

    It would be pointless to try to measure the relative ignorance promotion efforts of any major religion (except perhaps Buddhism, which seems to stay out of the way of reality), but, nvm, I did just say...

    1) The material world is supposed to be subordinate to the spiritual and by rejecting it temptation can be avoided. Though I don't know why so many religious extremists are so damn rich. Also, the Vatican.

    2) The Pope did sort of kinda maybe make half a possible step with his "you can use condoms to stop AIDS, just not pregnancy" declaration. Not quite sure how that works, but at least he stopped claiming condoms promote the spread of AIDS.

    3) As much as recruiting annoys me, I cannot say I blame them. If you knew the one and only key to eternal life and bliss, the only way to avoid eternal damnation and suffering, wouldn't you want to spread that? Of course there is the strange level of confidence that each faith has the exact correct way...

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  2. I am still a "practicing" Catholic. I put it in quotes because it's really a forced effort. The reason behind that are another story though. But I have severely questioned the reasons why I still practice due to my anger I have toward the Church and mainly it's dogmas.

    It's really came to me when one of my best friends (who died recently)admitted to me he was gay. I was the one of the last of his close friends he told. He even admitted he told some of his friends who are openly homophobic before he told me. He said we was afraid that I would disown him, hate him, mock him, or something worse. You see, he knew I was Catholic, and he knew that the Church's stance is that gays and lesbians were at best, sick, or at worse, evil. This admission hurt me, but it made me realize that the Church was preaching one thing but practicing another. (I know the great cliche of "Do as I say, not as I do" comes to mind)

    You see, this guy did not have an bad or evil cell in his body. He acted more Christian-like than most Christian's that I knew... including myself. Yet, I knew he would be an outcast in the eyes of the Church. And that angered me. You see, God is love. Not God is love when it's easy, or when it's convenient, or when it makes you feel good. It's "God is love." Yet the Catholic dogmas say not to accept those who are not like us, or who do not conform to our beliefs or traditions. (see The Crusades of the 11th-13th centuries) But what Jesus taught and showed in his actions, was to accept everyone for who they were. He healed the leapers, he dined with tax collectors, he visited and talked with foreigners. He loved everyone no matter who they were.

    Now, I know, the question still begs, "Ken, why do you still practice as a Catholic?" Well, many reasons, and yes, it is a bit hypocritical. But the main reason is that the Catholic church, at it's basic foundation, that of the teachings of Jesus, has a good base to work with. My wife and I are using that base to teach our three boys about Jesus and what he wanted us to learn. I hope, that when it comes time for them to finally make a decision on what direction they want their spiritual life to go, that they don't necessarily choose to be a Catholic because that is what they were brought up as, but that they choose to be a loving human being because that is what Jesus wants us to be and that is what he taught.

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