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Old 11-29-2001, 05:34 AM   #16
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Well, melon already knows where I stand on this one. I was raised Catholic and I have had serious issues with Catholicism and Christianity in general. I don't agree with alot of the things the Pope says either but in my quest for an alternative I found myself coming full circle back to Catholicism. I still have issues, but I guess I try to look for the truth behind the lies and sort of come up with my own version of what being a Catholic is for me. I try to take the parts that resonate with me and leave behind the parts that I disagree with. But, am I still even a Catholic then? I don't know.

My cousin has had similar issues with Catholicism and she has been considering switching over to the Greek Orthodox Church. But I sort of feel like I was raised Catholic and I can try to get away from it but it's inside of me and I'm not sure if it is possible to just leave. It's true that we shouldn't need labels for our beliefs but when you are traditional at heart like I am and your whole family is Catholic you tend to want make it work somehow. I think this is what melon has been trying to do up to now but at times the hypocrisy becomes too much to bear. I am not sure if there is an easy answer to this one.


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Old 11-29-2001, 05:57 AM   #17
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the only true religion=common sense.
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Old 11-29-2001, 09:09 AM   #18
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Melon;

Let me start off by saying that you're a man after my own heart.

Not only do your views epitomise what I have been feeling ever since I was old enough to realise that the Holy blood of Christ was in actual fact wine of very bad vintage, but at the age of fourteen, after somethign terrible occurred, I actually renounced God. No, not just the Roman Catholic CHurch, but its entirety including God. It took me less than a month to realise how arrogant such a motion was, and I did everything in my power to express how sorry I felt (I did not, however, go to confession, I still think the idea of talking to a complete stranger about your darkest and deepest secrets is a bit creepy, I'd much sooner talk to Hannibal Lecter about them). Four years on, I would like to think that God teaches and speaks to me through my everyday life; I am not a God-fearing, no, I'm a God-loving man. I have a very complicated system of belief, though, if you look at it from my point of view its dead simple.

I have no religion, I gave it all up in the name of logic, and I think that logic is taking me to God. I do pray, but I would rather call it meditation (though they are essentially the same thing). I do celebrate Christmas because it celebrates the life of a Great man who changed the world with his love, however, to me its not some excuse to feed an age-old religion. However, I don't fast (unless there is something unjust happening in MY life that I can change .ie - when one of my exes refused to talk to me, I fasted to the point I really couldn't walk. Sounds ludicrous, but it WAS a complicated situation). AS for the Pope, there is simply no one I disagree with more on the face of this planet, with the exception of Margaret Thatcher. The pope is, and always has been if you look back since the very beginning of Popery, a man who looks after the interests of the church, and nothing more. I always hated it how established religion always told the individual that THEY were God. That THEIR path was THE path of God. How THEY were the only ones capable of saving the world.

Unfortunately, as history tells us, this is nonsense. More often than not, the Catholic Church has destroyed the world, or, when it suited them, merely stayed on the fence and reaped in the benefits. This can be seen from its early stages in its passion for taking over new lands (The New World and its conquest was not merely motivated by Kings and Queens), indifference to the suffering during the Holocaust, support of Franco and other fascist regimes during the Spanish Civil War and its very VERY fascist views. Not only do they think contraception is morally wrong, they condem everyone who practices it. Not only is homosexuality wrong, but homosexuals are doomed to the pits of the sixth Hell, little knowing that Michaelangelo, the very man who painted the Sixteenth Chapel, was in fact a homosexual. And could I be as cynical as to point out that many and MANY priests of the Catholic Church are probably homosexual (not mere speculation, its just that there's been so many cases).

With such a bad record and such contrived policies, the hypocrisy of the church only matches the hypocrisy of politics; where do we go from here? Well, I'll tell you where I went - away from it.

I couldn't believe in a religion that dictated terms to me, that told me that God is this and God is that. To everyone who ever tells me what God is upto, I answer back; how do YOU know the will of God, are YOU God?

The moment people start thinking that they exclusively know the will of God, they should learn humility. And thats exactly what the Catholic Church (or any religious establishment, but particularly the CC)should learn, humility; the God I want to know will not be tainted by the dirt of politics, but be free of all that. I am sorry, but to me, the Catholic Church does not represent God, it represents itself, and all of the worst (and best) attributes that Mankind has to offer.

Melon, my advice to you is the same advice I read in Bernard Shaw's play 'Major Barbara'; 'if your religion is destroyed by the truth, no matter! Build another one tomorrow!'

Religions and faith can be rebuild, as History has proven. To tell you frankly, they are so flimsy and whimsy that the only thing that matters is the core of your existence; love. AS long as you have love, you won't need the other baggage.

Ant.
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Old 11-29-2001, 01:01 PM   #19
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there are a lot of interesting points here. like a lot of people, i, too, have had many issues with my catholic faith and the pope's views on many issues. however, one reason i choose to continue practicing my catholic faith is similar to what calluna said earlier - "I try to look for the truth behind the lies and sort of come up with my own version of what being a Catholic is for me. I try to take the parts that resonate with me and leave behind the parts that I disagree with." i also believe that a religion can only progress if the progressive people stick around. although at times is is extraordinarily frustrating because it seems like the church will never progress in some areas, i truly believe that even the most progressive and questioning catholics have a place. if nothing else, they serve as a conscience/progressive to those with opposing views.
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Old 11-29-2001, 06:26 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by sharky:
In the end, I'm a practicing Catholic but I know the church is wrong at times.

Same here.

The Catholic Church used to castrate young boys to prevent their vocal chords from fully developing so that they could remain in the choir. Today, looking back on that, we all recognize it was wrong, and you'd be hard pressed to find anybody in the Church who still thinks this was a good idea.

Regarding homosexuality, it is really an issue that has been brought to the forefront by the media, relatively recently. Pre-marital sex, while it has always existed, was not really a subject worthy of discussion decades ago. These, and other issues, point to the need of the Church to evolve with the times.

The reason I would not switch to a different sect of Christianity, is that I generally don't like the idea that if you don't like something, you should simply break away from it, and get rid of the tenets you abhor. I prefer an evolution of religion. In the same way Reform Judaism was introduced by Mendelsohn, the Second Vatican Council was important, in the context of the era. It is now time to proceed with further reforms. I feel the best way to deal with some of the Church issues (particularly things like birth control in Latin and South America) is in a progressive manner. Young Catholics need to get together and advocate a progression of ideas. Every revolution must come within, and I believe this holds true for Catholicism as well.

Hope that sort of helped.


[This message has been edited by anitram (edited 11-29-2001).]
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Old 11-29-2001, 07:07 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by anitram:

These, and other issues, point to the need of the Church to evolve with the times.
[This message has been edited by anitram (edited 11-29-2001).]
I agree that on some issues, "evolving with the times" is okay - as in music and things like that. Also, cultural mores, like how long women should grow their hair - Laws concerning restrictions like hair growth were based on cultural values and not on God's edicts.
However, to say that the church needs to evolve with the times when it comes to moral values, I must disagree. That fact is that on many many issues, it was God who decided what is morally acceptable and unacceptable, so if the church were to change its stance on these issues just because the world has changed its stance, that would be wrong. God doesn't change. His view of what is right and wrong doesn't change. In fact, if we do change our moral values in an effort to "be with the times", I would suggest that we are selling Christianity out - we are watering it down.
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Old 11-29-2001, 07:12 PM   #22
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That fact is that on many many issues, it was God who decided what is morally acceptable and unacceptable, so if the church were to change its stance on these issues just because the world has changed its stance, that would be wrong.
but the people who are interpreting God's word aren't infallible so there has to be room for question and change. often our interpretations of God's law are reflections of the culture and time of which they were written, some of which were more a form of social control than a direct interpretation of God's revelation.
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Old 11-29-2001, 07:24 PM   #23
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80sU2isBest;

I am concerned when you say that God set certain morals, well not concerned, but curious. Can you give me the one moral he set in stone besides the moral of loving each other? I know you have an amazing amount of knowledge of the Bible, so I would like you to give me some examples, so I can know what you're talking about.

Ant.
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Old 11-29-2001, 08:39 PM   #24
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I do not necessarily want the Catholic Church to change by mere popular capitulation, necessarily, and I agree with much of the basics. It's all that aggregious and selective abuse of its tradition, the lies and purposeful deception about its past, and, now, its encouragement of secular discrimination against same-sex couples, which, for some reason, the Church does not believe can co-exist with the traditional family--which is ludicrous. I want the Catholic Church to change because it finally admits it has been wrong in some instances, and wishes to rectify it.

I'm only disappointed that, with all the spectacle of Jubilee 2000 and the encouragement of repentance for past sins, the Church didn't make a full confession, keeping it's self-righteous high road as usual. I don't have time right now, but I'll list quite a few of it's sins when I get back, and many of them won't be pretty. I'm willing to forgive these sins, but it needs to confess them first.

and sharky, it's true. I don't really have dogma issues as much as I have issues over doctrine.

Melon

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[This message has been edited by melon (edited 11-29-2001).]
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Old 11-29-2001, 08:59 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon:
I'm only disappointed that, with all the spectacle of Jubilee 2000 and the encouragement of repentance for past sins, the Church didn't make a full confession, keeping it's self-righteous high road as usual.

I think it's mostly an issue of the speed at which progress can occur. Would it be wonderful if they did all of the things you talk about? Absolutely. Would it be expected? No. Progress and reform are both slow processes. I think one day, we'll get there, but realistically, you can't do it overnight.
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Old 11-29-2001, 09:24 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by sharky:
Some of my best friends in college I met at the Catholic church that served the campus. We were all messed up in our own way-- abortions, suicidal tendencies, drug addictions, self mutilation, etc. etc. These are people that you are supposed to condemn in the Catholic church. But sometimes, when given the chance, those people tend to be the best role models and live better Christian lives than people who show up at church every Sunday and go home without living God's word. Agree or disagree with the church if you want, but in the end its your actions when you are outside of the church building that really show what kind of a Catholic you are.
Wow everything you wrote was very well said. I really agree with you. And with CK (which surprised me lol - no offense CK, but usually I dont agree w/ you!)

Melon- I guess my 2cents would be that I'm glad you are thinking this out which shows a real maturity and need for the very thing that is causing you discomfort, rather than just abandoning it all- and secondly that one of your posts about not feeling like part of a community.. I'm not sure if you meant your town Church or where ever you go, or the Church as in *everyone*, BUT if it's the first- then maybe you could find what you're looking for, or at least a little more support and enjoyment, from a different parish?

Sorry I don't post here much so hope I didn't step on any toes or not really contribute anything.

olive

ok this is really weird but I just got this quote emailed to me from a friend:
"I don't always know the best way to please you my Lord, but I think the fact that I want to please you, pleases you." Unknown monk
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[This message has been edited by oliveu2cm (edited 11-29-2001).]
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Old 11-29-2001, 09:46 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally posted by Anthony:
80sU2isBest;

I am concerned when you say that God set certain morals, well not concerned, but curious. Can you give me the one moral he set in stone besides the moral of loving each other? I know you have an amazing amount of knowledge of the Bible, so I would like you to give me some examples, so I can know what you're talking about.
Ant.
I don't think I have an amazing knowledge of the Bible, I just read it and believe it. But thanks for the high compliment!
It's funny you say set in stone, because I was going to start with the 10 commandments, which were actually set in stone:
1)Worship God and God alone
2)Do not make idols.
3)Don't take the name of the Lord in vain
4)Keep the Sabbath Day Holy
5)Honor your Father and Mother
6)Do not murder.
7)Do not commit adultery.
8)do not ssteal
9)Do not lie
10)Do not covet

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Old 11-29-2001, 09:50 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally posted by Screaming Flower:
but the people who are interpreting God's word aren't infallible so there has to be room for question and change. often our interpretations of God's law are reflections of the culture and time of which they were written, some of which were more a form of social control than a direct interpretation of God's revelation.
In some things, yes, there has to be room for change, such as most of the laws the Jewish priests threw in on top of the laws God ordained; things such as women not speaking in church, etc. However, there are things not open to change because there is no other way to interpret them; things like the 10 Commandments - how can you misinterpret any of these? When God said "Don't commit adultery", that's what He meant. These basic values form the very backbone of moral society.
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Old 11-29-2001, 10:00 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally posted by 80sU2isBest:
It's funny you say set in stone, because I was going to start with the 10 commandments, which were actually set in stone
Hmm...I hate to sound repetitive, but...

Romans 13:8-10--"Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, 'You shall not commit adultery; you shall not kill; you shall not steal; you shall not covet,' and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this saying, (namely) 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' Love does no evil to the neighbor; hence, love is the fulfillment of the law."

It's quickly becoming my favorite passage, with Ecclesiastes 3, my old favorite, still in contention.

Melon

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"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time
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Old 11-29-2001, 10:11 PM   #30
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Erm, 80sU2isBest, when I asked for God's message I meant Jesus specifically... not the ten commandments. It might just be me, but I find most (if not the entirety) of the Old Testament quite humourous; it won't do.

When I ask for God's words, I was thinking more along the lines of Jesus Christ, not what some Hebrew scholar remembers his distant relative who remembered some distant friend of his that knew of someone who knew Moses, and consequently told him to write it down. If one is to think of those as God's words, then;

a)everyone in the rest of the old testament, from Elijah to God itself, is automatically guilty of 'THOU SHALL NOT KILL'. I don't know how people can rabbit on about how violent movies and literature has become, just look at the Old Testament, its the most blood-soaked and violent epic tale of brutality ever told!

c)Besides that one, the Catholic Church, one by one, would be guilty of breaking the Ten Commandments.

The Commandments may be set in stone, but I don't consider them as such. I want the DIRECT words of God, not something that was past down the line.

Ant.
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