Monday, April 28, 2008

Born to be Catholic

Reslian has an excellent post on inheriting religion.

In fact, I should be a Catholic, in mixed marriages Catholics have to sign a contract so that they'll bring up their kids Catholic. It's like signing a prenup with God.

99% of people don't choose the religion they practice. I remember some Indonesian pals of mine told me that Muslim converts are highly revered. It sounds like a good idea.

I'm an atheist. I used to be Church of Ireland (Protestant) and before that I was half Catholic half Church of Ireland. I went to a Catholic primary school, and when everyone else was doing bits and pieces for their confirmation (ceremony to become a gold card toting member of the Catholic church) I went through a hard time.

But I was only 12 and my parents thought it better that I was older to choose between those two great dialects of Christianity.

In the end I plumped for the Church of Ireland two years later. Two of my best pals were Church of Ireland back then, and time is money as they say (big religious rites of passage are accompanied by relatives giving kids lots of cold hard cash).

Thing was, two years later, I was asking much smarter questions at the pre confirmation bible classes. Which was good.

I'm an atheist now. I think I was an atheist for a long time, but for whatever reason, avoided calling a spade a spade. I'm glad I chose what I believe. I'm also open to new beliefs, maybe some day I'll be a Muslim, Daoist, agnostic or otherwise. Main thing is that if something intrigues me enough I'll investigate further and kick the tyres so to speak.

Actually here's an interesting documentary "Could I Stop Being a Muslim".

Freedom to choose religion is important, I suspect it will make for stronger self confident communities.

14 comments:

Marisa said...

You're lucky to have such freedom of choice, and also knowledge.

Once I filled out this random fun quiz over the internet named What Religion Are You? or something like that, I forgot, I'd have to google it. The result came and said that I am an Unitarian Universalist, not a Christian.

I must admit that I'm more of an agnostic, a secular humanist, or an unitarian, rather than a Christian. Even my parents have agreed on that, and they've given me the absolute freedom to not go to church on Sundays until this very day. And oh, I strongly despise the Prosperity Theology in Christianity.

But there's this thing called: loyalty, Mr. Orford. To be specific, the loyalty and devotion to your family and your ancestors. If I should have an religion, then loyalty, and the honour of having it, would be it. I worship it far more than I worship the Omnipower.

Politically, I believe only in the secular.

By the way, this is my first time here, so hello! My name's Marisa. Can we be friends? Let's eat cupcakes.

johnorford said...

Yeh familial loyalty is important, but only up to a point, i suppose it has to be a two way thing.

Friends? sure Now about those cupcakes you mentioned... :)

Denica said...

you knw, ure religious journey kinda reminds me of mine.

i wonder what'll happen in 10 yrs.

M said...

"99% of people don't choose the religion they practice."

it's a good number actually (btw, do u have the source of data?). because if you change seat with me, u will see it from different angle. think of how many people in the world really choose a religion when they have the chance to do it after they grew up, like you. i thought it was none :)(but now i know it's about 1%)

even when they choose to believe in God, most prefer not to have anything to do with God's administration (and be an agnostic).

have u ever heard of European Agnostic and Atheist association? it's an interesting phenomena. would be nice to know ur point of view about it.

johnorford said...

denica: ah, well, it's not so much a religious journey at the mo, but a journey away from religion...

M: no source of data... i suppose choice requires knowledge of other religions / unreligions, and i am pretty certain most have real knowledge only of the religion they're born with.

European Agnostic and Atheist association? Never heard of it. Not really interested in organised unreligion either ;)

M said...

:) nice

humboldt said...

John, one can find God without organized religion. Why don't you try this? It would at least avoid you the anger. I grew up a catholic and the more I know about the Catholic Church, in reality, the more I feel away from it, but that has not turned me away from religion.

johnorford said...

hey humboldt, i'm not really searching for a god. i'm also not too angry about it, cos i suppose i'm detached from religion... doesn't really impact me too much...

humboldt said...

johnorford, I just do not understand those people who have grudges against religion.

Yes, religion can be a positive force and religion can be a negative force, and history has plenny of examples of both of them. I think in Ireland religion has sometimes being a negative force.

Although I am a religious person, I do not believe that atheists per se are destructive people, or inhrently negative, although some of them really are, and the history of the XXth century is full of examples of this type of people.

And I do not feel offended by criticism of religion, I recognize that religion, and particularly organized religion can sometimes be a negative force, and the only way to purify these things, and all things, is via freedom of expression.

Yes, freedom of religion and freedom not to believe in religion are fundamental principles of any healthy society, and these beliefs shouldn't define a person, per se. Actions are of greater importance.

By the way the Roman Catholic Church is a nonprofit multinational corporation.

johnorford said...

humboldt, i agree with a lot of what u said.

i think atheists and theists are human first and foremost, and both are susceptible to frailties.

i suppose what i was driving at whether u believe in a god or not, rigourously thinking about ones beliefs is very important.

many belief systems (catholicism, islam, communist or fascist) don't generally encourage that kind of rigourous thinking, that's not good.

humboldt said...

johnorford, I think that when religious or non-religious beliefs become an "ideology", societies' progress stifles.

As for rigorously, could you please clarify this concept for you?

Actually my criticism of present Catholicism is its lack of self-honesty and integrity. The U.S. Catholic Church has paid more than 2 Billion dollars in judicial settlements because of the pedophilia cases in the clergy. Now that is a lot of money, even for the US Federal Government. I think that pedophilia has touched Ireland, also.

Now how does one reconcile permissiveness with inmoraly in an organization which is built around a strict code of life as presented in the New Testament. There are many Catholics who believe that the previous situation is the result of a fundamental change in its philosophy regarding morality, that the Catholic Church developed since the 1960s.

By the way, in Catholicism one can find many types of attitudes towards religion.

In addtion, one could analyse a religion from the point of view of the integrity of its beliefs and practices. I think that religion sometimes fails in that its lacks self-integrity.

johnorford said...

yeh, well the thing with religions are that they are more about ppl than gods...

as for thinking rigorously about beliefs, it pretty impossible to be 100% rigorous, but if you're not playing follow-the-leader and if you keep your mind open to new ideas i reckon that can only be a good thing.

humboldt said...

What does ppl stand for?

johnorford said...

people