Although I oftentimes find the Huffington Post to be distasteful, and while biased like any other information article site, it tends to be full of half-truths, I ran across an interesting article:
On some level, I do agree that atheists and believers alike had better stop this business of being ignorant about belief (or non-belief) in general, there were other parts that I don’t quite agree with. But more on that later.
This article reminded me of a trend I’ve just really started to notice, and its explaining a lot. A couple of weeks ago, I probably would have said that most Catholics would not belong to this group of people that are ignorant about the idea of faith, and their own religion. I would have said that fit the description of many Protestants better (having been told numerous times that theology isn’t important unless you’re going to be a pastor, even then its just important that you love God *cue the flowers and sparkles*)
That’s often true (and the most important part really is to love God…but how can you love that which you don’t really know?)…yet especially after running into many Catholics espousing Country Club Christianity…:
While I am not a huge fan of Michael Voris (he’s neat…but gets even more ranty than me…) this observation was incredibly astute.
“I have degrees! I have a big mouth! I’m a liberal social justice 60 something left over hippie who knows everything!”
Those 60 something left over hippies make up a big part of the Church in the US and a big part of the slowly dying off religious orders.
Like the author of the above article, I believe that the biggest problem is that of ignorance.
There are so many ignorant Catholics out there- and yes, a lot of the blame belongs to the older generation. You didn’t, and you still don’t teach us much of anything. We learn lots about how nice God is, and how we should be so nice, and we get to do lots of feel good things together—
And then you wonder why, even with all of your heretical will power, you still hang on to the Church (albeit one that exists only in your head) while all the young people seem to be running out the church doors.
I’ll tell you why- Its because we don’t know!!! There aren’t 100 people who truly hate the Church, but there’s a lot of people who hate what they think the Church is- and they have reason to hate those things!
I remember how my faith wavered in the past, due to simple questions about my beliefs. Why call a priest father? How can God allow suffering if he’s so perfect? Why do you “worship” Mary?
Can you guess what my faith formation consisted of? Come on, guess!
Yeah. Pretty much nothing. Thanks, left over hippies.
Because you older hippies haven’t backed up any of the Popes, because you more often than not water down Catholic teachings, because half the time you don’t teach and the other half of the time you teach wrongly, us younger people are trickling out of the Church.
I agree with the author of the article over at the Huffington Post- IGNORANCE is a huge issue and problem.
Now for the parts where I disagree with this author (besides his snide jab at Saint Thomas Aquinas and “coming a long way since then”…) I have to disagree with the section that delegates everything God to “mysterious”.
Most religious people I know do not just lump everything they can’t explain at the moment as a “mystery of God” or something like that, but there are a few. Those few should shut up and read some theology (although those are the people that probably think that theology isn’t that important).
However, God IS mysterious. What this author seems to desire, as many agnostic and atheists desire, is that God do everything so that it fits within our man-made definition of logical and rational.
It will not happen, because for one thing, we have come a long way from the olden days, when religion was very prone to being superstitious rather than a true faith. In fact, this idea that God has to do exactly what we consider rational seems to me to be a very pagan idea.
Look at the Greek/Roman gods. You had Zeus, but of course since he was male he would need a woman (albeit his sister…okay…) but who went around philandering and was a general player. And his jealous wife followed him around, nagging him and tormenting the hell out of the women he courted/raped.
You have people now who not only advocate that gays have the “right” to be married (guess what, just like the priesthood you are *called* to it, not given the *right* to it) they advocate that all marriage should be torn down because it isn’t biologically possible for men and women to be faithful to one another, in spite of evidence to the contrary.
While one of these ideas is fixed in the supernatural, and the other in a secular view, they both have in common the extreme “logic” of the situtation.
If you think of it, there is no logical reason to help another human being. Sure, it can be explained as altruism to help the species survive, but why should one be kind to their enemy that was attempting to kill them one a few minutes before? Why allow the infirm, the mentally ill, or other such “troublesome” people to live, when they might possibly pass on their genes?
Not everything can be explained away by logic, just like not everything can be explained by mystery.
Even so, there are going to be aspects of God that ARE mysterious, and we have to be humble enough to admit that. I remember taking a theology class that put it this way- could one ever entirely know one’s wife- like all of her thoughts and desires, at any given moment of time?
She is just another person, and you can’t know her entirely- there are still some things that will suprise you no matter how many years you lived with her.
With God, its just like this, only much more complicated. How does a time-bound person understand God, the One outside of time, with no beginning and no end? With all of our theology, with all of the people who have known Him, like Saint Thomas Aquinas, we still haven’t scratched the surface.
I think, deep at the heart of the belief that everything and anything must be rationalized at all costs, is that infamous fear that haunts all people, most especially those without any belief at all-
The fear of the unknown and the mysterious.