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By Henry Hunter
You can always rely on a high-ranking member of the Catholic Church to get all bent out of shape about secularization of their religion around this time of year, the same at Christmas. Alternatively, when a massive paedophile scandal needs swept under the rug. It is always the fault of everyone else. The damn secularists, with their annoying questions and independent thought.
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, when he opens his mouth to the press, seems to only ever bleat on about the secularization of society, and how the younger generations are falling away from the church. It is probably true, the numbers are probably dwindling, but I am sure it has nothing to do with secularization, simply that no one trusts the Catholic Church anymore, and neither they should.
I was raised a Catholic, but moved away from it at a very young age. This was because there was a TV show that clashed with church, and I was fortunate enough to be in the position to choose Glen Michael’s Cartoon Cavalcade over going to church. Church offered me nothing that my parents had not already taught me about being a good person.
This was all back in the day when it was just a well-known rumour that the priesthood was riddled with the most grotesque type of human waste, the kiddy fiddling paedo-priests. It was known, just not publically proven as it is today. People started to distance themselves and it is completely understandable why. It has nothing to do with the secularization of society, simply a lack of trust.
It is unfair to blame the non-believers. The whole issue with any religion is that there are very strict rules, and they are all absolutely flawed on a fundamental level. None of them make sense, there are a couple of commandments that make sense first, do not kill anyone and do not have sex with your friend’s wives or husbands. However, they are not religious rules, they are just standard “don’t be a dick” rules from your “Don’t Be a Dick” handbook which we all enter this life with, it is just that some people lost theirs years ago. However, to blame people who don’t subscribe to your religion is unfair leave them out of it. Take responsibility for your own failings.
Rowan Williams has been speaking out about the downgrading of RE in schools, that is Religious Education for all of those who were educated in a Heathen School System. He feels that this downgrading will help destroy the church as, it is the young impressionable minds that the church relies on for its future generations of followers. Nevertheless, the issues with it are plenty.
When I was at the god-awful catholic school I had the severe misfortune of attending we had to take Religious Education, which is what it was called until I was in the senior year, then it was changed to Religious and Moral Studies, for what reasons? I have no idea, probably the secularization of society or something like that.
One Sunday morning I was reading one of the tabloids and lo and behold, my Religious and Moral Studies teacher was on the front page. It turned out that she had become pregnant to a local priest. There were photographers at my school on the Monday morning, an actual media circus.
She remained at the school until long after I left, I believe, except when she was on maternity leave. The way I saw it, and how I told her upon her return, was that “you can’t do what you did and expect people to pay attention to your class.” I further explained to the Head when I was sent there by the tearful RE teacher that I have no issue with her private life, but her ability to teach a class now called Moral Studies has been compromised, and she should be forced to teach another subject or leave. Nevertheless, quell surprise, the rules we were being force fed, members of the church were not expected to adhere to. Why, because it is ridiculous to expect humans to have a control over their desires and instincts, those are your God, they are what define you and make you interesting – to paraphrase the Great Doug Stanhope.
I love the fact that the teacher and a priest had a kid and, as far as I know, lived happily ever after. However, to assume she could teach kids about morals and religion after becoming pregnant to a priest was just unacceptable.
This is the thing the Catholic Church need to realize, the dwindling numbers and lack of faith is nothing to do with the parishioners who have jumped ship or the secular society or media, it is their own fault. They have created a minefield of nonsensical rules and dogma; they have been proven to have perverted the course of justice and in doing so let sub-human perverts preach the word of their god and run riot through their church unpunished for their crimes.
Easter marks the resurrection of their Saviour, a man who was whipped, stabbed and tortured on a cross until dead; they say he died for our sins, which I have never understood. Does it give the church carte blanche to sin? Does it justify a man living in a sprawling palace of hypocrisy and gold trimmings while pretending to his faithful followers that he has taken a vow of poverty? I’ve seen poverty, and not many people were dressed in fine silk and gems, most certainly didn’t have a gold scepter. Nevertheless, these are silly arguments from a non-believer, aren’t they?
Nevertheless, my religious beliefs are of no importance, not to you anyway, all that really matters is that people remember what, or who they are meant to be following.
The Pope, as head of a religious organization, has one job, to ensure his house is in order. He has failed at that, purposely because he wants to maintain some nonsense. While if Jesus were to visit him, it would not be to congratulate him. Public condemnation should befall the Pope as he has forgotten what his religion is meant to be all about. It is not his place to tell people how to live their lives through his interpretation of the bible it is his job to show people how to live their lives through adhering to the actual lessons of Jesus. He could begin by opening the Vatican as a homeless shelter for the thousands of followers, who beg on the streets in Rome, all his riches mean nothing if they are not directly helping the poor.
Believe what you want, really. However, do not expect anyone to take your concerns for your religions future seriously unless you are seen to be upholding the ideas set forth by the man responsible for your entire belief structure.
The homophobic leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland, Cardinal O’Brien has told Catholics to wear proudly their crucifixes, which is the best he could come up with. Therefore, in lieu of any kind of humanity in the Catholic Church, I would like to offer you an Easter message.
You may or may not believe in a God, it does not really matter. Everyone around you is going through all the same nonsense as you, who they pray to is of no consequence to you or your place on this planet.
Just do not be dicks. It is that simple, maybe too simple. Wish people you come in contact with a Nice Day, hold doors open, don’t assume that because you are in a hurry that other people should put their lives on hold, you will get where you’re headed eventually (the grave, remember that). Do not thank a god when someone does something for you. Thank them. Do not be a dick.
Remember that although you may have beliefs in the afterlife, not everyone does, some are simply trying to find a little bit of heaven while they are actually alive, do not be too judgmental about it just because you are too scared of the unknown to do the same. Just get on with your own business, pray to whichever God you desire to, or do not. That is the beauty of being a human with free thought. You can believe in absolutely anything you want. Look at David Icke, he is a testament to the idea that you can believe in absolutely anything you want. Why not?
I believe in parallel universes, aliens, the Loch Ness Monster and time travel to name a few. It’s fun believing in stuff, just do not assume that it matters a jot to other people. They are called personal beliefs for a reason.
Look at it like this. The best way we as a race could think of to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who may or may not have been a Time Traveler/Messiah/Con man or alien is to hide chocolate eggs that we tell the children a Giant Bunny left behind. Embrace the chaos. Believe what you want. It is a damned Free for All. Happy Easter.