Thursday, January 26, 2006

Let "the Vicar of Kid Touching" Kiss His Own Ring

For what I assume was my never-ending stream of questions, I was asked by the Bishop who confirmed me not to come back until my next sacrament (be it marriage or last rights). As such, my next statement might as well be “you can’t fire me, I quit”.

I am done with Catholicism, and the Catholic church has only itself to thank for pushing me away.

It's not about ritual, it's not about dogma, and it's not about priests who are kid touchers (though that is kind of hot). It has nothing to do with transubstantiation or the holy trinity or plenary indulgence.

I am sick of the pope, and I am especially tired of Benedict XVI.

I’ve been told before that I’m an old soul, and there are many reasons in the history of the papacy to despise the very concept of the Holy See. I don’t claim to have lived though The Western Schism (an outstanding time in history to find a better religion, like Zoroastrianism), but even if I did and remembered, the lunacy of my lifetime is enough to give up the vicar of Christ for good.

My crisis of faith was actually conceived during Catechism. For those of you intelligent enough to not be Catholic, you can’t just confirmed without about 10 years of Church School. You have to prove you know all your standard prayers (Hail Mary, Our Father, Apostles Creed, Act of Contrition, The Beatitudes), the four marks of the church (One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic), the significance of transubstantiation, the holy trinity, but most importantly how the Catholic church is the only right and true way to worship, and everyone but the Catholics are going to hell.


"Wasn’t Jesus a Jew?" I asked.
"Yes." Replied Mrs. Poolan, the holiest Church School teacher who wore Nike Hiking Boots.
"So why would Jesus let his father send his people to hell?" I wondered.

There wasn’t really a response.

One day we were discussing homosexuality, which was an interesting topic since our church had a priest who was considered by everyone to be such a dynamic speaker and caring person, someone who made him or her want to go to church. "Look at all the outreach he did, the time he set aside to work with troubled teenage boys in his congregation." Do I need to tell you where this is going? Everyone was heart broken when Father Gary was suddenly called away to because he had been caught kid touching at our church and there was fresh meat someplace else for him to sample.

With all of that behind us, a different church school teacher (I had many, they could only take so much of me) was telling us how “Homosexuals can still be loved by God and go to heaven, provided they never act on their urges.”

: : scraches head : :

I certainly didn’t ask this at the time (I had some restraint), but I have always wondered: if God sends homos to hell, and a homo priest fellates a hetero teenage boy in his parish, does God just give the kid a mulligan?

Once I asked Mrs. Poolan, “Growing up in a world with teen pregnancy and AIDS, isn't it irresponsible for our church to prohibit the use of condoms?”. "No" she answered "you have abstinence".

Huh. Good one, though I much preferred the part where your daughter made you a grandmother before her 19th birthday, with no baby-daddy in sight. I guess abstinence didn't make her hole grow fonder.

Which brings me to the point of this post.

The Catholic Church is the most backward, regressive, irresponsible institution on Earth. Every time I think I’m overreacting and that I should give them a break, they smack me upside the head and prove me right again. Benedict issued his first encyclical, "Deus Caritas Est" (God is Love) yesterday:

MESSAGE FROM THE VATICAN: Pope: Loveless sex deceives
Benedict XVI delves into charity and relationships
January 26, 2006

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Benedict XVI wrote in his first encyclical Wednesday that sex without unconditional love risks turning men and women into merchandise.

I’m sorry, I have to stop for a second. Did a 78-year-old man who has not had sex for at least 54 years (or ever if he’s a "good" Catholic) just speak out against sport fucking? And on my birthday??

I am fully aware that the US is not the center of the known universe, so I’m not going to play the “50% divorce rate” card, but everywhere I’ve been outside the US also thinks that breeding (or the attempt at breeding) is a recreational activity.

Benedict’s 71 page paper explores the relationship between Eros (the love of a man and a woman) and agape (unconditional, self-giving love), which he feels are unified when a man marries a woman.

I’m all for pair bonding, I don’t have any problem with monogamy (it’s one of many lifestyle choices an adult can make), but the Catholics have this fetish for marriage that I just can’t buy into. As an old religion, they maintain their numbers through (1) marriage, (2) prohibition of birth control, and (3) instilling fear on Catholic parents that they are responsible for their child’s soul until the child is confirmed. Catholics make more Catholics through their inability to be abstenate and the guilt of the child not making it to confirmation, and the kid’s immortal soul being let down. Psychologically, it's not only the foundation of a very unhealthy relationship, but it makes for an awkward Thanksgiving dinner.

Remember, these are the find folks who brought you purgatory. Not only is there someplace potentially worse than hell, but if a little baby (who is “born with original sin”) isn’t baptized before (s)he dies, the little soul will float endless in purgatory for all time. That’s the hypocrisy I’ve come to know and love: I can’t have an abortion and end this innocent life that I helped conceive, but if I have the kid and it dies before baptism it’s little soul rots and never gets to know the wonders of Heaven. I’m surprised I’ve never heard that the souls of aborted fetuses float in purgatory, but then again I haven’t been in a church since my grandmother’s funeral six years ago.

Back to the madness:

"Eros, reduced to pure sex, has become a commodity, a mere thing to be bought and sold, or rather, man himself has become a commodity."

Wait…"has become"? What was Mary Magdalen? You’re telling me that sex hasn’t been bought and sold since the beginning of recorded history? (This is where I avoid a segue into discussing [Un]Intelligent Design).

"Those who practice charity in the church's name will never seek to impose the church's faith upon others"

Of course, he’s speaking about 2005, and has completely forgotten about the Catholic Church’s many attempts to take over the world. There is also a whole lot of discussion about charity coming from a man whose toothbrush is made of gold.

We were talking last night at dinner about the current state of America politics, and at what point the right wing is going to wakeup and say "my beliefs are intact, but our President needs to go". There was a comic I read the other day about testing that theory by telling people that Bush needed to kill their kitten, and would they let him.

Practicing Catholics are no better, allowing hypocrites to eschew dogma at them. It has reached a point where they’ve stopped thinking and just swallow the doctrine like a baby bird eating the vomit from momma bird’s mouth (hi Virginia).

The older I get, the more of a secular humanist I become. My crisis of faith sent me in search of another religion, and what I found was that I would never know peace by knowing Jesus. I’m sure that makes many people sad, and they’re going to pray for my soul. I appreciate that, but I hope your faith comforts you while the carbon cycle is making short work of you.


Justin said...

Religion is a total hoax, it's a concept made up by humans thousands of years ago....the same humans who thought the universe revolved around the Earth (or Erf if you are Chicha), the same ones who thought the world was round....and who burned women at the stake because they were witches......and that the sun was carried into the sky by a chariot driven by shiny you see where I'm going wif dis?

MyManMisterC said...

I've got to disagree with your interpretation of the Pope encyclical. True, I have to do it since you can on my site and disagreed with me and I look at this as if I were holding K10 off suit and had to defind my big blind bet.

But I think you are drawing a conclusion that is consistent with the Catholic dogma while Pope Benedict saying something else.

So many times in Catholicism, when it comes to sex you are told NO. But you aren't exactly told why. And because you are told no, you are told you are going to Hell.

That's not what I got out of the encyclical.

What I got out of it was that for the first time, a Pope acknowledged the power of physicial love (in Eros) and that power is really amplified when one is an a relationship with someone they love unconditional.

While he did talk about the power in terms of marriage, he leaves a huge window open, at least I think.
I think in some ways, this Pope just brought Catholics into the 21st century.

I'll use myself as an example. I live with my fiancee. We aren't married. We started living together before we were engaged. We have been together for almost 4 years. In Catholic doctrine, we are sinners. At least in the past we are. But maybe the Pope's encyclical is a good example of our relationship. We had a very physicial relationship. It transformed into a relationship of Agape or unconditional love. The physicial aspect became more powerful. We are getting married and will be spending the rest of our lives together. I am confident of that because we live together and understand each other wholly. We know what the other wants, needs, desires, and expects. I would say, that based on the Pope's encyclical, that we a model for his assessment. And in terms of our physicial relationship, it is more powerful than when we first started.

Now in fairness, sure you can say, well Matt you're just legitimizing your sin, something Catholics have done for ages. Ok fair point. It's been done in the past.

But from a Church doctrine perspective, I think this is a sign of the times and an attempt to help the church deal with the real world.

I expected something like this to come from JPII, certainly not Benedict, who was billed as a master theologian and hard core conservative. The fact that his fist encyclical dealt with this issue, and not euthenasia, abortion, or stem cell research is really magnamous.

Anonymous said...

AJ wrote: "Did a 78-year-old man who has not had sex for at least 54 years (or ever if he’s a "good" Catholic) just speak out against sport fucking?"

You don't have to be celibate, old, or the Pope to know right from wrong.

"And on my birthday??"

Ooooh, my heart bleeds. :)

"I am fully aware that the US is not the center of the known universe..."

That's good.

"...but everywhere I’ve been outside the US also thinks that breeding (or the attempt at breeding) is a recreational activity."

Everyone else is doing it, so that makes it right? Everyone is doing crack cocaine. That makes it right? Everyone is having gay sex. That makes it right? Everyone is committing suicide. That makes it right?


"The older I get, the more of a secular humanist I become. My crisis of faith sent me in search of another religion, and what I found was that I would never know peace by knowing Jesus."

I'm not asking you to "know Jesus." I'm not even Christian myself. But it's obvious that you've lost your moral compass, and instead of trying to find your old one (or a new one), you think you'd rather live without one altogether. Well, if you find yourself in Hell in the hereafter, don't say you weren't warned in this life.

Anonymous said...

I don't care who you are... those Catholics are Cah-RAZZZZZZYYYYY. LOL

This was the best blog ever. Find your moral compass Johnny... QUICK! Before you have sex again and doom yourself forever!!!

Justin said...

Not enough people are committing suicide, there are way too many people on this stuipd little planet in the middle of who and gives a shit. Not to get of on a rant but maybe we should be putting birth control into the water supply.....of every country in the world.

Anonymous said...

Uhhh...don't know how to break it to you, Alpha John, but the Catholic Church does not teach that only Catholics will be in heaven. Perhaps you missed "Dominus Iesus" written primarily by the current Pope on behalf of the previous Pope. When that came out a few years ago the right wing fundamentalist evangelicals had a fit because the Pope was suggesting that even - gasp - Jews, Muslims, and pagans CAN be saved. In my book you are no closer to truth than the fundamentalists are. Why don't you spend some time actually learning what you are offering opinions on?

the Alpha John said...

Well faceless voice, why don't you go find Mrs. Poolan and get her up to date? I'm just telling you what I was taught in detail over and over again for 10 years, I never claimed to be a Jesuit.

And opinions are like asshole sir, everybody has one.