I’d previously posted about this in “A Right to Kill” as a second point after abortion. Recently I elaborated more on that on the feeling that I hadn’t presented my point fully and properly. As time went on I began to feel the same about my opinions on the Bible and Roman Catholicism in today’s world.
The article I described in “A Right to Kill” came from Yahoo, and cited how nonsensical it is to base one’s beliefs and facts on a book as old as multiple millennia. It also criticized the Roman Catholic church’s proclamation that one thing as simple as a zygote is already considered human.
While there is some truth to his statements, I couldn’t suppress my mind anymore from thinking how much my religion is misunderstood, by its followers and numerous outsiders alike. First of all, let me clear out any misconceptions you might have about me. I have come to learn from reading news outlets and interacting with those my age, and those younger and older that the church has evolved into a lumbering, mechanical beast desperately in need of some oiling and repairs. Safe to say, I reside in the middle ground between the idealistic youth and conservative elderly. I tend to see both perpectives; a perk of my age bracket and present environment. This has led me to see the deepening cracks in the foundations of my religion’s ivory tower.
Parishes close their doors on gays despite pretty much everyone they let in having sinned against God their whole lives. Premarital sex and abortion too are prohibited by the church, but in place of promoting confession or welcoming sinners just as God did, they rear their usual ignorant heads and reject such people. And then there’s the usual priests abusing children, which doesn’t quite need any further explanation. Roman Catholicism it seems, has fallen behind the times, and a revolutionary pope can’t singlehandedly fix a sinking ship without his crew, all ignorant and indifferent, following suit.
The church is centered on God, on spreading and living out His word, the Bible. But the church has grown too big throughout the centuries, with those in power forcing non-related opinions into homilies, corrupting its center in the Vatican, giving in to temptations that lead to child abuse…the list goes on and on, but the bottomline is the church’s future was butchered by the very people tasked with ensuring it. The for-the-people mentality has faded to the background, replaced by arrogance for the majority of priests and officials.
Unless Pope Francis turns his movement into a grassroots one, his reforms will remain superficial in the face of increasing controversies. The church must go back to basics if it is to continue growing and affecting its billion-strong following in a significant way. Key to this is clearing up what the Bible means for the average Catholic. The Bible is a guide; life lessons abound to those that will listen to homilies, attend study sessions, and read privately. The Bible is also a reminder; Jesus existed and there is proof. But even without it we should be grateful because with a faith this strong, lives have been saved and given purpose. It is also a tool for spiritual people. You don’t have to force yourself to believe in God; there’s a lot here to process for the spiritual person, or even just anyone trying to find a purpose in life or what to do because of a big problem they are facing.
Before we get to the main conversation, let’s address the elephant in the room first. Yes, God did “bad” things in the Old Testament. Yes, He might have said being gay is prohibited and a zygote is already human. Yet, that’s why there are two testaments, the new one for the new age of Jesus. Back then God’s actions were acceptable, the same thing being gay today is acceptable. The one thing that transcends time periods is His love and message, and to this day this holds true. Another thing, if God said something, it doesn’t mean it’s literally true. In the old times, would you imagine His followers cutting their limbs or gouging out their eyes when He said so? Or do you really think that amount of fish and bread could feed even a hundred people? The Catholic faith is focused on the meaning behind the text, and thankfully we have homilies, companion books and study sessions for that.
So a zygote isn’t scientifically human, but could God be hinting at something there? That could be a topic in another post, but to get to the last point: why base your faith in such an old book? Well, the answer is simple and obvious in that it’s already happened. It’s lasted this long and the content still remains relevant. It still uplifts spirits, gives purpose to lives, it still gives useful tips in dealing with everyday life and God is still ever-present in today’s technology-infused world. The fact that a mass exodus still hasn’t happened despite the power of the internet and freedom of speech is nothing short of amazing. It proves the staying power of God’s word and the Roman Catholic church just got lucky. If you need a better comparison, look at The Lord of the Rings and its lasting influence to this day, not only on art and media but its own fan following. Could you imagine a future without elements of LOTR seeping into the nooks and crannies of fantasy films, books, or games? I thought so.