There has been a lot going on lately. A LOT. Starting with Toad not being able to sleep, traveling to the land of Toad having serious problems with school, and culminating with mom and dad finally realizing what the problem was, taking steps to fix the problems, and figuring out how to get him sleeping better. There were a few nights that we weren’t proud of as parents – a few nights where we let our frustration get the better of us, but with the help of the school, Toad’s doctor, and a new therapist, things are getting better, slowly but surely.
Yes, my son now has a therapist.
Yes, I’ve thoroughly fucked him up, apparently. *sigh*
Let’s not talk about that today. I have something much more important to talk about.
Let me make it clear: I’m not against religion. I think that any religion is absolutely fine, as long as people aren’t trying to throw their religion down your throat. Recently, though, I read a book that made me remember one of the biggest problems that I have with the Christian/Catholic religion (and seriously, WHAT is the difference between the two?)
While there were heaps of problems in this book, and I do mean HEAPS, one of the biggest problems I had was that there were a few scenes in this book, and I use that term loosely, where one of the main characters talks about how she could never be with someone, no matter how much she liked them, unless they were a Christian.
Let’s back up a bit here. Full disclosure: I was baptized as a Protestant. Basically it’s Catholic lite, or at least that’s how I like to think of it. Personally I’m not sure what I believe, but as disclosure that’s how I was baptized, so I do know quite a bit about how this type of religion thinks. I also have family members who are Catholics, and some great friends. I’ve gone to Catholic weddings, funerals, and some services. I’ve had lots of debates with devout Catholics (boy is THAT fun!), and so on and so forth.
SO, what bothered me about the book and that main characters saying how she won’t get with anyone unless they’re Christian? Um, isn’t the basis for all Christian religions forgiveness? Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the biggest message in the religion that forgiveness is something that’s extremely important? Isn’t that why someone can commit murder, can do some Hail Mary’s, and can be forgiven.
And yet if you’re a Catholic or whatever, it’s not okay to be with someone who doesn’t share your religion? And it’s not just a personal opinion – non-Catholics who want to marry Catholics in a Catholic church have to go through tons of fuss and muss in order to do so. It’s an extremely frustrating situation to me because for a religion based on tolerance and forgiveness, there’s a hell of a lot of segregation going on!!
One of my favorite religious quotes is from Kevin Smith’s Dogma.
Rufus: He still digs humanity, but it bothers Him to see the shit that gets carried out in His name – wars, bigotry, televangelism. But especially the factioning of all the religions. He said humanity took a good idea and, like always, built a belief structure on it.
Bethany: Having beliefs isn’t good?
Rufus: I think it’s better to have ideas. You can change an idea. Changing a belief is trickier. Life should malleable and progressive; working from idea to idea permits that. Beliefs anchor you to certain points and limit growth; new ideas can’t generate. Life becomes stagnant.
I understand the need for religion. I have lots of strange and crazy ideas about how some religions started – trust me when I say that you don’t want to get me started, especially if you’re a strong believer – but the simple fact that a religion based on tolerance the love and forgiveness doesn’t allow people from two different religions to create a union is, quite simply, absurd to me.