sunday constitutional

December 8, 2003 — Leave a comment

it`s sunday and i haven`t got fuck all to do all day. i`m loathe to say i`m bored, but that would pretty much sum it up. i have no desire to flick mindlessly through the channels. i could walk to the office and while the hours online, but i don`t want to start the precedent of being in the office every weekend.

i have some shirts that need ironing but without iron or ironing board there`s no way that`s getting done. there is really nothing for me to do around here. i had breakfast and i cooked and had lunch, had a post lunch nap and bath.

all this sitting around idly has me thinking about church. i`m not a regular churchgoer, i think i can be pleasantly described as a hatch, match, dispatch churchgoer and even then i`m picky about those that i do attend. for the thoroughly confused; hatch, match, dispatch translate to baptisms, weddings and funerals.

i`m a lapsed catholic which i suppose makes me the worse sort religious cynic. i honestly believe everyone has a right to their beliefs but my issues start when your religion starts to encroach on my freedoms and is used as a basis for intolerance.

i wasn`t always like this. i was baptised catholic, even though my mother was a methodist, what it meant is that every weekend i was in church twice, i would go to mass on a saturday and then off to service with my mother on a sunday, so i was pretty much covered on all bases. i went to a parochial school and by the time i was nine i was an altar boy, i made my first communion with the boys in my class. i went to another parochial school for my high school education and was pretty much a good catholic boy, well with the exception of ducking the mandatory religious knowledge class in my first semester at school and the pornography club i was running by my third year in school [another story for another day]. i was still an altar boy, i did mass at least three times a week. i even had thoughts of becoming a priest. i hadn`t had any run-ins with the child-molesters the church is famous for breeding and i still said the  apostle`s creed and believed it wholeheartedly.

all that changed in my final year of high school. in my caribbean history class i started to question the church`s track record in the new world, you know; the magna carta, forced conversions, genocide, slavery, then as i read more, the inquisition, their stance during world war II, you get the picture and then my parish started hitting on me, culminating with my expulsion from the confirmation class because i spurned his advances.

i started to question, first i just questioned catholicism, but i started noticing the same levels of hypocrisy and double standards were part and parcel of religion. then i started doing research on christianity and that opened a whole new can of worms. i`m going to raise a point here that most people either don`t know or chose to ignore; until the advent commercial printing, the bible was hand-copied by a select few priest and even then distribution was limited. so no matter what version of christianity you practise today, the bible you use is based on a version originally approved by emperor constantine and amended as seen fit by various popes up til the reformation.

another amusing fact [especially in light of various christian organisations, decrying halloween as a satanic/pagan ritual] is that all the major christian high holy days or holidays are actually just conversions of pagan festivals. beltane became easter, the winter solstice became christmas. makes you think doesn`t.

but before i come off as biased, i feel the same about all religions. religion is a construct. go back far enough and you`ll find some power-brokers, politician, king, elder, whatever, telling people how and what to believe. it helps keeps the masses in control and always to the exclusion of someone.

all this doesn`t mean i don`t believe in a force greater than myself, i believe. i just don`t need someone telling me how to believe. and yes i am a hypocrite. my children are baptised and attend church regularly. why you ask? so they get can get the same platform i had, when the time comes, they too will question or maybe they wont, but they would not have been deprived on an opportunity.

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