Feb. 9th, 2004
Shrug and Pray  
"Just say a prayer. That's all we can do now," my dad said to me on the phone. My mom said a similar thing to me Saturday night when she called to tell me Mamam was in the hospital.

But what if I don't believe that there's some cosmic helpdesk waiting to queue the requests of the faithful? It would be nice if I could believe such a thing. It certainly gives us humans the feeling we can do something in situations in which we are otherwise helpless. Nonetheless, I told them I would. I knew saying that would make my mom feel better, and the last thing my mom needs to worry about right now is her son being an avowed heretic.

We had a bit of a foray into that subject over the holidays when my dad asked me (again) if I were Catholic. I stopped going to church the moment I was out on my own, and excommunicated myself shortly thereafter. I've told them this, but I think parents hear and remember what they want (as I always did to them, so seems fair). After I answered my dad that past Christmas, my mom followed up by asking if I still believed in God. I told her I believed there was an energy that unifies us, and we could call that "God." But, I added, that I thought the whole "Jesus being spawn of deitic seed thing" was downright silly.

But all this does make me wonder about spirituality — a subject that has been on my mind for a little while now. My fraternity taught that a person should be balanced physically, mentally, and spiritually. What if there's some truth to this?

Truth is, Catholicism is largely to blame for my seething disdain for religion in general. Some will say I'm exaggerating when I say this (but I'm serious). I think raising kids in the Catholic religion is tantamount to child abuse. It's a horrible, unbending, mean-spirited, and spiteful religion that discourages free thought and encourages blind adherence to its dogma. Well, that's not totally fair. You are free to think what you like, as long as you don't mind spending Eternity burning in the fires of Hell. Of course, the idea of there being such a place with a pointy-tailed devil is ridiculous, but to an impressionable child, it can be a bit frightening. Despite my quite vocal challenges to my Catechism teachers indoctrinators, they managed to assimilate some of their guilt into me. So this, the rhetoric spewed forth in the news by groups like the American Family Association, bin Laden, and their ilk constitute my experience with religion.

But what if I threw the baby out with the bath water?

I've been of the belief that I don't need any organized religion, and I still believe that. But I wonder if Sue wasn't right when she told me she felt I could stand to see a different side of religion. She grew up in the Reform Judaism faith and feels my view of spirituality has been tainted by the rigid dogma of the Catholic Church and similar believing religions.

I don't know. I guess that even if religion is indeed just the opiate of the masses, that doesn't necessarily exclude the idea that there might be something good to be found there that's just been perverted by some. Regardless, I might be a little more open minded to religion if I saw something good come of it.

But of course none of this answers the question: If I don't pray, what can I do besides wait?
Mood: distracted
Listening to: The Ataris - Eight of Nine
( Post a new comment )
toenail: brainycuriousgeorgecu on February 9th, 2004 - 07:55 pm
If I don't pray, what can I do besides wait?

I, personally, believe in worrying myself to death. Makes the outcome seem relatively better than what I have imagined.
Hope your grandma's OK.
(Reply) (Thread) (Link)
Gantriochgantrioch on February 9th, 2004 - 07:58 pm
The Church has reformed quite a bit. It's certainly more respectable than, say, (Southern) Baptists. *Shudder*.
(Reply) (Thread) (Link)
The People's Exhibit Adavidology on February 9th, 2004 - 08:27 pm
Aren't these the same people who think masturbation is a sin and that innocent babies are born into the world with sin?

I dunno. They have a loooooong way to go, I think. Although to be honest, short of reversing their position on nearly everything and coming out in acceptance of gays and in favor of homosexual marriage, I don't think they could ever do enough to change my opinion of them.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread) (Link)
Gantriochgantrioch on February 9th, 2004 - 08:34 pm
It's believed but it's not discussed or really mentioned anymore. The focus has shifted to the Gospels and thei meanings and interpretations.

I like the Church because of its (biological) evolution stance. It exists and happens.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread) (Link)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on February 9th, 2004 - 08:03 pm
The People's Exhibit Adavidology on February 9th, 2004 - 08:29 pm
yea.. I agree. I think that makes a lot of sense.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread) (Link)
Josephchemology on February 9th, 2004 - 11:08 pm
You know I absolutely agree with you on the Catholic Church, and basically, religion in general. Our similar backgrounds have certainly jaded us to the idea of organized worship. So forget that. Heh. I think it's important to be spiritual, if not religion. To believe in the power of one's self, and fate, and not always look for a scapegoat in God or unicorns or whatever. I think there is a binding force, like you said, but I don't think that he really gives a rat's ass about my life or what I do. That's why "He" gave me rational thought: to figure it all out myself.

Additionally, I sincerely wish all the best for you grandmother and your family. And if I prayed, I would be praying for you. Instead, I will being sending you positive vibes, which is just as good, I assure you.
(Reply) (Thread) (Link)
nx01deevolution on February 10th, 2004 - 04:29 am
There are always possibilites.
It's okay to pray.

You never know.
(Reply) (Thread) (Link)
Andreworderinchaos on February 10th, 2004 - 09:24 am
I went to a fundamentalist Protestant/Pentecostal church and it thoroughly jaded me, so I know where you're coming from. I think as long as you know what you believe and you can handle what others believe, you are fine... My own belief is in a God but without the religion, and I have friends from a variety of religious and belief systems.
(Reply) (Thread) (Link)
Adamadakuk on February 10th, 2004 - 02:22 pm
Well, everyone to their own, but, I believe in God. I just don't believe in all the religions that surround his existance. If you ask me, it's because of all these religions that there is so much fighting in the world today. And I agree with you, some religions can make people so narrow minded, beleiving certain things are such a sin, and your own free way of thinking is dissapated.
But don't get me wrong, either. I've seen many churches do many exciting and amazing things for people - especially for those who really need it most...the homeless, the hungry.
But definately pray for your grandmother anyway, cos you just never ever know...
Just my 2c worth :)
(Reply) (Thread) (Link)