Thursday, August 4, 2011

On the Outside, Looking in.

I give you a rule, "Read only if you promise to share this blog with others." and I have no other way in knowing you are honest with this, other than to trust your word and my faith in you as a loyal reader. Now, logically, I know you are not going to do anything other than read a post, and possibly, if you really like it, refer the link to a friend; but, nine out of ten times you are just going to read the post and maybe contribute a comment. There are two main goals here with me as the writer and you as the reader, which I can compare to the "rules" of following a religion.

1. I write something I feel passionately about. You read the post and feel passionately about liking or vehemently disagreeing with it. Either way, the first rule was met. I posted and someone read it. (Hopefully.) With religion, the rule is the same. Someone feels strongly about a God and writes some gospels that one or two people buy into as 'The Word" and some others hear or read the same writings as Blasphemy and anyone who agrees with it as Heretics. Same rules, different mumbo-jumbo.

2. Invoke raw emotion. Extract said emotion. Reach into the reader, as the outspoken writer, and wire your brain to incite a riot of feelings, laughter, anger, tears, jeers, joy, sadness, hope and the list goes on. As the reader, one of these emotions or feelings makes you act. Either you clicked on the follow widget, with giddy anticipation of the next installments, or you closed out from the page making a mental note not to ever fall for such garbage again. Religion is the same here as well. Granted, it's far more elaborate and scheming than anything I have done here, but religion also has a few thousand years head start.

Two goals met, both as a blogger, a reader of blogs and a believer in God and the faith institution banking on Him. The nice thing about these goals is that each and every one of you fit into one or the other, or both. I mention this because there has been a lot of chatter about rules and following said rules in order to "be" something, whether it's a Catholic, a Baptist, a Mormon, a Jesuit, a Jew, a Muslim or a number of other religions. My God, the one I feel pretty confident about being the same God as most other religions, except maybe Buddhism and Satanism (that would be the ultimate anonymous for God to be Satan too) tends to be loving, and possibly jealous. But seriously, are we really that stuck on ourselves to think God actually cares if we go one way or the next? Have you seen space recently? There are billions of galaxies out there. I imagine God is way too busy to really care much about Little Nicky cutting heads off chickens in the name of Lucifer to garner more TLC from his mommy and daddy.  In any case, my God never made any one religion a requirement. If he had, according to my own faith, one would think he would have added it to the Ten Commandments. Maybe take the one about killing people out and put in its place "Thy Shall Be Catholic And Nothing More." that way, when someone like me wonders about the rules, there can be actual consequences in my doing so. The problem with this is I just don't believe there will be any consequences to something Man alone created, being rules and their necessity in following them down to a tee.

And rules only apply in things that have conclusions, such as Mathematics or Russian Roulette. Tangible outcomes that everyone can see. Either 2+2=4 or it doesn't. One bullet, five pulls of a trigger. The question is not will there be a bullet, its when will the bullet no longer be in the chamber, which even then you are not going to know it, but the winner will be awfully happy about knowing himself. Faith, on the other hand, is the intangible truth we all want to believe in, because the alternative flat out sucks. To me, rules are placed around the religion to strengthen both the tangible (The living Priest speaking to you that you can see and hear) and the intangible (that the Priest believes in the magic man in the clouds as passionately as he does those stories he tells you about on Sunday) tethering you to the selected faith. Its these very rules that cause people to blog hop, if you will, from one religion to another. The reason why many Baptist were once Catholics, Catholics once Greek Orthodox and Goats disgruntled Sheep. Without rules, I might congregate over to being a Methodist and pony up my hard earned money to that denomination. I better place this "rule" to scare them into thinking our way is the tried and true way.

If you don't follow the rules of the institution then you cannot be a part of that institution. Negative. What if I were christened into several faiths? Can I become a Cathodest? How about a Jewvangelical? Maybe I could get real crazy and deem myself a Bapmon or Mortistican

1. Complete trust or confidence in someone or something.
2. Strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather 
than proof.

How can anyone have faith in any religion when the "rules" of the very word state that your complete trust or confidence is in another person, and we all know NO ONE IS PERFECT BUT GOD. I do not trust anyone and that includes myself. Why? I am human, therefore, I am flawed. Flawed in my thinking, my intent, my nature, my very own existence. I equate being a Catholic like this. Our Government tells us that an unruly country is developing weapons of mass destruction, in which they can use to threaten the foundation of society and kill our children, and they must defuse the situation before it gets out of hand. Part of this is true, there is no doubt about that in my mind. The problem is that I also know there are other interest in this region that my greedy country would love to have stakes in, so I know the overall explanation given to me by the "speakers" and media outlets are, for the most part, bullshit. The core issue, the threat imposed by an enemy with nukes, is very much a reality that I can see and hear and feel from afar. My God is a lot like this, in that I know there is something out there far greater than any mind a human can grasp with. I know there are authentic people out there who wish to observe this God and explain the concept of God as best it can, but I also know there is A LOT of money to be made in this, and times are tough. Yet someone always manages to reach deep into their pockets to help, because that is what God wants us to do. Help one another. I am faithful in my religion and my God and the core belief that the two are united as one, lost over time by a great deal of selfish people with too much power, too many rules and not enough, as it were, faith


  1. Well, I'm not an apostle (to borrow your analogy). I don't make it my mission deliberately to "share" things, but I share them when and if the opportunity presents itself. Given the thought provoking material you've provided here, I can almost guarantee that such an opportunity will present itself sooner or later.

    As for the rules thing, I think you've got the point a bit backwards. It's not that God insists that you follow Catholic rules. I don't think that you need to be a Baptist, a Separatist, a Televangelist, or even a Ventriloquist to love God in your own way. It's just that from a human perspective, if you insist on loving God through one particular "ism" or another, and you declare yourself to be a follower of a particular "ism", then this should be defined by the fact that you follow the doctrine of that "ism." Otherwise, what is the meaning of the declaration.

    For instance, if I said I was Amish, but I used electricity, drove cars, and refused to wear the funny fats or sleep with my sister, someone might reasonable ask, "Well, what makes you Amish, then? Why do you even bother?"

    In other words, the question isn't, why would God insist that you follow Catholic rules, but rather why do you insist on being a Catholic if you have no use for the things that specifically make someone a Catholic? Why not just love God without dragging that Vatican into it?

  2. Perhaps I have mislead with my thoughts. I meant that you do not have to follow the rules in anything man creates, in my opinion. They are there as tactics and procedures to maintain stability of the church. They are guidelines to follow. To your point, if you were Amish and used electricity, this fact doesn't make you any less Amish than the moron next door who uses candles because someone long ago stated that modern advancements were work of the devil. If you could add to your religion and remove the stains of others, polishing up something and present it back to others, who share in your beliefs, making the religion better and free of the stigma of age attached to it, why not do it?

    And I did not intend to impose God stating anything, but the men behind God enforcing their rules in the name of Him. I am also not entirely sold on the ideology that I have to follow this rule or that rule in order to be Catholic. Breaking this thought down to a finite chuck of bullshit. If Jesus stood on a mountaintop and preached to Peter to build his church here, and if that church was Roman Catholic or Greek Orthodox or Jim and Nancy's roadside gospel & grill, I doubt very highly that Jesus would have given a list of rules everyone must follow to get through the door. It's a man made rule, which, like all other rules, were meant to control others. Keep in mind, I told a Priest that I thought their rules sucked ass and would not follow those that caused me pause. He was cool with it, thus everyone else should be as well. Which is why I say I am Catholic. The focus is too much on the religion, because my thoughts are about how my religion has damaged my faith in God, because of their rules and regulations. Perhaps I will end this blog one day, accepting that I am just Scott. And Scott believe in God, who or whatever that is, but, for now, I press on to understand how I got here to begin with.

  3. I see. Well, without the Amish way of life, our "Amish" fellow would be Amish only as a matter of birth or heritage, perhaps even geography if they let him stay in the community. Likewise, I take it that you consider yourself Catholic, because you were born into a Catholic family, and you attend a Catholic church when the occasion calls for it, and because you are a card-carrying member - minus the card. I can accept that. I can respect your right to consider yourself a Catholic.

    However, I still wonder, what's in for you? I can understand the faith, but why specifically the Catholic faith? To be frank, you don't strike me as the type that would stick with something simply because you were born into it. You seem much, much too iconoclastic minded for that.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to talk you out of being a Catholic. Whatever floats your boat. I'm just trying to understand the attachment, maybe get a few stray neurons firing and give you something to munch on for another post.

  4. I really liked your last paragraph, about your belief in your religion and your God being one, I guess what I don't understand is why you feel you must remain a Roman catholic. I was born and raised Roman catholic, but now I consider myself a born again christian in the Protestant faith, I believe the Roman catholic church has bastardized so much of the Gospel, I can't slose my eyes anymore.

  5. "Jesus wept." Maybe he had seen a glimpse of what his faith would give birth to.

    Maybe you could be a Unitarian. They seem much more open and unfettered by outdated dogma.

    I'm just sayin'...