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    Wednesday, November 01, 2006

    All Saints Day

    An interesting Op-Ed HERE.
     
    Even though I am not a practicing Catholic, I still grew up in the church.  It is a part of my background, for better or for worse.  And I tend to think for better.  If I had never known it, I could not be as critical of it as I am now.
     
    And in that vein, it is interesting to reflect on how some of the saints were people who stood up against the church and paid a heavy price for doing so.  With beatification and then sainthood, the rightness of their positions, and the sacrifices they made in an effort to be good catholics, were vindicated. 
     
    When thinking about those people who did stand in the way, it is good to remember that there have always been people who, in the name of God, held uncompromising positions, and were flat wrong.  There are people today, people who inject their faith into politics, who are unwilling to compromise because to compromise their position would be to compromise their faith.  Well, you can believe, and you can think you are virtuous and true in your belief, and that does not change the fact that you can be wrong when you attempt to apply those beliefs to the world around you.
     
    Religion, at its best, is a motivational tool for exercising self-control.  At its worst, it is a weapon for exerting control over others.  If a man of faith choses to live his life a certain way, then God love him for doing so.  But when he requires the law of the land to reflect his beliefs and impose them on all others, then he is an enemy of freedom.  For to give up your own personal freedom voluntarily to lead a life you believe is virtuous is your right.  But to take that freedom from others is not.

    Comments on "All Saints Day"

     

    Anonymous bionurse said ... (6:37 AM, November 02, 2006) : 

    AMEN!! Er, I mean yes, I agree completely with that.

     

    Blogger Gina Ventre said ... (8:42 AM, November 02, 2006) : 

    Interesting to note that the Church punished harshly and then turned around and accepted and then (in apology?) made them saints.

    I agree that one has to know it before one criticizes it.

    Completely agree on the imposing of religious beliefs on others.

     

    Blogger anne said ... (10:06 AM, November 02, 2006) : 

    I completely agree to your point about imposing your religious beliefs on others. I also agree that to have a true voice to criticize, one has to have lived the life. Hence, my own criticism.

    I'm not sure that I agree that at best, religion is only a motivation for self-control. I think there are people who believe in higher power and are working for eternal happiness, blahbity blah. They aren't consciously or unconsciously looking for an excuse to behave well and treat others kindly. Not all people are cynical and suspicious. Some really just believe. It's not denial or justification.

    And when it comes to criticizing religions overall, I find it very hard to lump them all together because many of the religious orders do not participate in shoving their beliefs down the public throat. It is more often fundamentalist groups and offshoots of more well-established religions who you'll find preaching on TV or shouting outside the Democratic convention.

    The Catholics are just the easiest target because they are the largest and most visible Christians.

    And never mind about the whole Crusades and Inquisition stuff. Water under the bridge.

     

    Blogger melcarrel said ... (12:11 AM, November 03, 2006) : 

    ok, I read your post, and want to think of a proper response. I'll get back to you on it. Things are kinda crazy at the home front, so I'll email you. OK?

     

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