Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Up in Arms

By now you have heard about the Norwegian, Anders Behring Breivik, who sprayed a youth camp with the wrath of God and, somehow, managed to blow up a government building. At last check, the death toll was 76, down from 92 and I stop and pause. Not to pray for the victims or families as most do. Not to look for the nearest website to bash or console, because my contributions would only infuriate me and those who support this type of behavior. I want to, instead, understand. Sure, he claims insanity, as anyone who just killed a person would, to avoid the needle themselves in 20 years or so, depending on the number of appeals and stays of execution, and a few 60 minute interviews in-between. I get all that. What continues to allude me is how such atrocities can be accepted by anyone, crazy or not, as "God's work".  And forget about this lunatic. I want to know when God's Work changed from helping our fellow man by service and charity, food drives, fund raisers and volunteer work, to killing doctors who assist with abortion, protesting funerals, building anti-establishment soldiers, martyrs, separatist and holy warriors who have acted on behalf of the same God I believe in. My God.

As a kid I was never privy to the bloodshed that the Catholic church has engaged in since its institution in AD 326. I, like many other Catholics, was completely in the dark about my religion and ignorant to its openly smug presence in world politics. Ignorance is Bliss. Remember this, for I will revisit it a few times in this post both directly and indirectly. As a kid, the stories were just that-stories. As I grew older, those same stories started to impact people, fueling them beyond their own will, driving them to do great stupid feats like spend millions of dollars on billboard signs promising the date the world will end for example. Then I started to question. Not my faith, for that was an unwritten commandment thrown in by priest on Sundays; but, question my religion. My first Eyes Wide Open moment that I can recall was the Branch Dravidian's.
Koresh, He's not just the Messiah, but the whole Big Shebang!
The long and short of it, A fellow thought he was the true Messiah, convinced some people of this (Ignorance is Bliss) apparently had sex with a 76 year old woman who dubbed him as the second coming of Christ, and then went to the funny farm for taking an ax to the side of the skull of a fellow who claimed he was the real Messiah. Turns out, both of them were wrong as they are now dead. One by fire, the other by blunt force trauma to the head. As a side thought, being Jesus is awfully painful. I always believed that God spoke through us and through our actions, but I never thought we would take that to a whole other level of disrespect and cause to be total jackasses to one another in the name of one man's interpretation of another's "gospel". I think someone should send a memo out and reeducate God's Purpose to the willing. 

And maybe that is the problem, people are not willing to learn what they think they already know. Poised to remain ignorant to the outside world, because in order to contribute to society one needs to know what certain guidelines mean and why rules for said guidelines exist. God, in my opinion, did not want bloodshed then or now. I'd imagine if he had wanted to keep the streets paved in gold rather than with the blood of the innocent, he would have intervened with his own son's public murder. But he didn't, did he. Instead, we are told that this was God's gift to us all, to have his son die on the cross for all our sins, even those who have yet been born to commit since, which, by the way, you get a fresh sin by proxy fetus. A sinner before you take a breath, how is that for a warm welcome to the world? But I can see the moral dilemma in giving your only human Son to a pack of wolves. The teaching here is that no matter what you do with your life, try being God of the Heavens and the Earth, but standing by powerless in stopping a rather gruesome demise for your kid. It sets the gold standard for life. Forget about baptism You can even set aside your religious differences, because The God, just allowed mortal man to murder his only son. Now, go live a live and serve me always, which is not a bad deal. Live and love and treat others as you would want to be treated. Do this, and live forever. Sounds like a deal. 

This is something I shake my head at and wag a finger or two of shame towards, but these kinds of things only make me less confident in humanity, they have nothing to do with my faith and believe in God. Now, openly molesting children in the church I grew up in and wishing I could be a part of...this is a focal point in corrupting my faith through obvious cases that are quietly hushed behind closed doors and settled out of court for outrageous sums of money, and then have the priest in question not barred from the faith or subject to any number of punishments that the church itself imposed during the crusades. No, these men of the cloth get moved from one place to another with a slap on the wrist. Now I begin to tremble. I wag a finger to the churches as I pass them by. I shake my head at their smug faces and I brandish a stiff finger towards the house of My God. I could never have anyone inside my home who has been suspected of molesting a child, let alone my own; but, these men ask their guest to forgive as God forgives...My god, ignorance is bliss.


  1. Scott, I have to tell you that I am not a fan of the Roman Catholic church. From their worship of Mary and saints, to their part in the Inquisition on up to today's molestation cases.
    Obviously you don't have to be Roman Catholic to be pious and claim that you are doing God's work. All we have to do is look to television evangelists.
    The bible teaches us that Christ is God in human form who has come to give man a way into heaven. He didn't allow man to murder his son, it was intended to happen that way. Christ took the place of the sacrifice ritual that was part of the covenant with the Jews. It happened so that we didn't have to live under the Levitical Law.
    I'm sure that I have completely missed your point, the world is full of false prophets and people who do things under the guise of doing God's work when they do it for themselves.
    When I have questions about religious things I will start at CARM.org.

  2. It's interesting that you mention the worshipping of Mary. I have been a Catholic for some time now and not worshipped Mary once, perhaps this is due to me being a bad Catholic and not following the rules...but my mother follows the rules and doesn't worship her either. I think there is some disconnect among other religions who see observence as worshipping. Perhaps I can elaborate on a future post about this in more detail.

    As for my point, I was merely stating that there are so many things that pull at my faith strings, some that make sense while others appear to be solely to distract from the cause to focus on the outcome instead. The way we focus on one man's horrors all the while reminding the audience that the man was acting on his beliefs in God. The Norweigan being key to this point. Yes, I killed those people, but it was a neccessary evil for the greater good, which is pretty much what he was quoted as saying.

    Faith is such a vastly complex subject for most people, so I am sure to lose you on some rants and take the words form your mouth on others.

  3. I get what you were saying about how things affect your faith. I have my moments like that as well.
    Regarding the Mary thing, I know that this is not official church doctrine, "worship" was probably too strong of a word. I think maybe "elevate" or another word would be more fitting.

  4. I don't remember who said it, but I have seen this quote several times around the web lately.

    "If you talk to God, you are religious. If God talks to you, you are psychotic."

    Mankind has been killing and torturing it's enemies in the name of their God, Gods, Goddesses, etc for centuries before christianity came around and probably will continue to do so long after the myth of christ has faded from the minds of man.

    Was Jesus Christ an actual human being that existed? I do not know for certain. But I suspect that if he had been shown a vision of what man would do later in his name he would have thrown up, fainted and gone off to be a plumber or something else.

  5. But then I am just a cynical old bastard. I'm not trying to alter or dissuade your own private beliefs. As long as you aren't hurting other people then have at it. But if your belief system drives you to torture, murder, rape, pedophilia, etc, then in my opinion you should be hunted down like a mad dog and "terminated with extreme prejudice." No trial, no appeal. Just bang.

  6. I feel pretty knowledgeable on the subject of Roman catholicism, having being born and raised a roman catholic, right down the street from the Vatican. I no longer hold those views, having found the true meaning of faith and the gospel in the protestant view. However, roman catholicism is one of those things I will never shake completely. As far as Mary is concerned, she is worshiped as the mother of God , and as such, she is considered to be without sin, the only human besides Jesus. Unless church doctrine has changed, Mary never had sex with Joseph, the brothers of Jesus, being actually cousins. However misguided the doctrine of Mary is, roman catholicism falls on the actual salvation or lack thereof. ROman catholicism renounces the new birth, by baptizing newborns and ushering them in the kingdom of God, when they can't even speak.
    I think I understand the jest of your post, just because people do all kinds of evil in the name of God, it does not make God a bad guy, I agree with that.

  7. This was a really interesting read I am not an overly religious but I do belive in God and do not think God wants anyone to commit murder in his name. I would love to be able to understand how someone could do such things but alas I do not think that is going to happen as I am a normal sane person