Friday, January 07, 2005

Jumping on the religion debate bandwagon

Been reading with great interest Xiaxue's last couple of posts regarding religion. I wouldn't wanna be the Fux guy. Hell hath no fury like a woman's scorn.

Anyway religion is a topic I usually stay away from. It's controversial and almost always leads to really heated debates because most people have such strong views about it. But I saw her get 100+ comments on one post and got jealous, so I shall talk about it now.

I was raised as a Catholic. Went to religious classes at this church called Our Lady of Perpetual Succor at Siglap till I was 16, after which I got confirmed. I remember my uncle asking me how I felt just after I got confirmed. I told him I felt ok, I didn't feel anything different.

Immediately I got chastised by him for feeling that way; he told me I just received the holy spirit and it was not right to feel "just OK". I was confused, I didn't understand his reaction, I mean I couldn't help what I was feeling could I? Or would it have been better for me to have lied and said something like "I feel more alive than I ever felt before!". But yeah that was just the beginning.

As time goes by I grew more and more unhappy with the church and its rules. For example they would denounce masturbation as a sin. If you were fantasizing about someone "without their knowledge", then its basically the same as coveting them. And one of the ten commandments explicitly states that "thou shall not covet". Well that really troubled me because by that definition, I was sinning around 5 times a day - hey I was a horny teenager with raging hormones alright. Fine fine I was jerking the chain more than 10 times a day happy? But anyway, the point is I didn't agree with that, because as far as I was concerned I wasn't disturbing anyone else so I didn't see what the big deal was.

Other things troubled me as well. Like how at the end of the mass a lot of people would rush out of the church before the final hymn was even finished. It just seemed so fake (not to mention disrespectful) to me - it was obvious for those people, mass was more of an obligation rather than something they wanted to do. But I wondered why the priests put up with it, why didn't they do anything to stop it.

Also I had Christian friends who would denounce the Catholic faith. They would quote from the bible and tell me it's wrong to pray to Mother Mary because she isn't a God. Or that Confession is ridiculous because you don't need a middleman to talk to God. Or how the concept of the Holy Trinity didn't make sense. It would be alright if they were curious and wanted to find out more about those aspects of the faith that were different from their own. But it was obvious it was not curiosity that fueled their questions, it was prejudice. But the same type of prejudice was exhibited by the priests at my church during their sermons towards Christian religions.

I also started questioning my faith in God. Will not go into that in detail, but in the end decided I would rather not be a Catholic than be a half-past-six one. I always thought especially when it comes to religion you either follow it wholeheartedly or not at all. I seen a lot of my fellow Catholics who only follow the rules of the Church when it suits them and I didn't want to do the same because it made me feel like a hypocrite.

So now I live by one rule. I do anything I want as long as I don't affect others negatively with my actions. And I apply the same rule to others when I am trying to decide if they are right or wrong. I think the problem with society today is that beliefs/behavior/actions that are out of the norm are often unfairly judged to be morally wrong by people, even if they do not affect them directly. People who hold those beliefs get ridiculed, insulted and in some extreme cases shunned by society.

So in conclusion I don't care who prays to what. As long as you don't annoy or even worse, display prejudice towards someone because of your beliefs.

K now leave as many comments as you can - I wanna reach 100 as well.

Update : Unfortunately she has removed the post about the Fux guy after he apologised.

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