Monday, August 30, 2010

Reflections on a Sunday...

John and I had a wonderful Sunday. We celebrated his mother's birthday, and had a wonderful time. However, a certain part of the day is still bothering me as I'm sitting here.

This has nothing to do with our family, or anything like that. I love them all dearly, and we truly did have a wonderful time. But, before going to John's mom's house to celebrate her birthday, she asked us to attend a memorial mass for Tom's father, who recently passed away. Since we were unable to attend the funeral or wake (they were in a different state), we decided that it was the least we could do out of respect for both Tom and his family.

I will speak for myself, and not on John's behalf about the mass. Upon entering the parking lot, I saw a monument. It had an angel, with a baby in her lap, with an inscription reading "In memory of the innocent victims of abortion". I instantly wanted to vomit. I believe that some things are better left unsaid. I realize that abortion is a hot button for the Catholic Church. We all know their official position on it. IF we have any doubt, in lovely MA you can find out on a friggin license plate. At any rate, we walked into the mass, and it truly was lovely. I find a lot of comfort in the familiarity of mass. I do enjoy the prayers, because they remind me of my childhood. They remind me of my father's parents. However, my love of organized religion and church ends there, with nostalgia.

The reading during the mass really stuck with me, and I'll quote it here only to prove my point:
Luke 14:1, 7-14

On one occasion when Jesus was going to the house of a leader of the Pharisees to eat a meal on the sabbath, they were watching him closely.
When he noticed how the guests chose the places of honor, he told them a parable. “When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not sit down at the place of honor, in case someone more distinguished than you has been invited by your host; and the host who invited both of you may come and say to you, ‘Give this person your place,’ and then in disgrace you would start to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit down at the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at the table with you. For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
He said also to the one who had invited him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

There was a deacon that gave a homily based on the reading. He preached about acceptance, and being an inclusive community. He preached about tolerance and love. The entire time I had to stifle my INCREDIBLE urge to stand up and scream "YOU ARE ALL A BUNCH OF HYPOCRITES, Look at the friggin monument you have outside! Who are YOU to pass judgment on those women!".

Religion is responsible for the persecution of so many people. The GLBT community is harassed endlessly by many religions, Catholics included. Abortion clinics are bombed in the name of religion. Innocent people die in the name of religion. I guess I'll never understand how people can organize themselves into groups, interpret what they believe some higher power is telling them, and then use that as ammunition to hurt others. What "higher power" would tolerate that? It's inhumane. It's wrong.

I have my own religious views. I was raised Catholic, and I baptized my son into the Catholic church. I can't say I stand behind the Catholic Church as a whole. I just think that organized religion, any organized religion, is in itself a contradiction. I have my beliefs, and I believe them wholeheartedly. I try to make decisions based on what i believe to be the "right" decision, in both a personal and spiritual sense. I just can't believe humanity. I just can't believe the complete disregard for other people based on their beliefs. A person is a person. Right?

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