Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Religion

Emily got me thinking about religion and how it affects me and my family. Organized religion is not organized by God, it is organized by man and man is fallible. We have inherent foibles that corrupt everything we touch, even worship.

Worship of a God or gods has been the cornerstone of all civilization since the beginning of time. The men and woman who worshipped the most and the hardest have always risen to prominence in society. With the power that they obtain more often than not corruption follows, we all know the cliche about absolute power.

With power comes money and influence, this income and influence needs management so organizations are formed. It is the management of these organizations that break down not the Higher Power they were formed to worship. The reason, mankind fucks it up.

Accepting that man messes it up and that I accept my particular organizations flaws, why is that I remain a member of the Catholic Church? Why do I choose to raise my children as Catholics? My father is a Methodist, his father was a Methodist preacher. The Methodists have far fewer layers of bureaucracy and with less bureaucracy there is less of a chance to muck it up. My Dad did not see it that way, he saw how important Catholicism was to my Mom, he felt attending a service once a week was important, so he came with us. He never converted but he prayed. I am the same way really, who is holding the service worshipping God is less important to me than the opportunity to worship. I am comfortable at Catholic mass so that is where we go.

Attending a formalized service dedicated to the worship of God provides me with an opportunity to think and review my behaviour and actions. Each week there is a different theme that the leader, in my case the Priest, brings to the congregations attention. There is a little story and reading from the Bible and then the Priest gives you his thoughts on the subject. I am often reminded of a virtue or weakness in my character and made to think. I do not practice this exercise outside of Church.

Instead of viewing religion as the opiate of the masses we should look on it as a chance for self reflection and improvement. Organized religion offers a tried and true method of self reflection and personal development, it also provides its congregation with a community of like minded individuals, if you are able to look past the sins of man and focus on yourself and your individual development that is what is important and exactly what I get out of practicing my religion. I hope they don't ex-communicate me.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Emily said...

I find that many Catholics have this most philosophic view, and its a good one. I'm kind of "into" Catholicism, and there's a family history there in my case.I think that the Catholic church has become more like the evangelical middle American churches, which in my view, is unfortunate. But I think that there are many Catholics that think like you, Peter.
Though I haven't commented much lately, your blog's been rockin'. I feel like I'm there with you guys.

3:30 PM EDT  
Blogger Peter said...

The thing is we are not really Catholic. Although we go through the motions, kneel and recite on cue, the fact that we disagree and don't toe the line leads us away from the church. I pretend and continue to worship but in my heart I understand the hypocracy and am sad for it.
The church will not change its archaic views simply because a bunch of soccer mom's in the good old US of A think they ought to have the right to an abortion and condoms if they want. The Church has been building societies for a long, long time.
Catholicism goes far deeper and the deeper you go the darker it gets.

8:27 PM EDT  

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