Monday, October 24, 2011

Searching for truth

I went to a funeral today for someone I have met, but could not recall in any meaningful way.  I had to reassure Wendy that I would not cause problems beforehand as we were going to a traditional Catholic funeral in a church.  There are plenty of versions of Christianity that I don't like but which aren't really that harmful but Catholicism is the big baddie; making massive efforts to prevent distribution and use of condoms in areas that have HIV infection rates over 10% (I have seen reports as high as 40%, which is really awful) is just unforgivable.

Things actually went less badly than I had thought as the great majority of the service was conducted in Polish, a language I have zero comprehension of.  It is tricky to be irritated at what is being said when you can't even figure out what that might be.  I did find though that everything that was said just set me off; a long speech about the value of searching for truth was the capstone.  Searching for what truth exactly?  Doing whatever some old white dude in the Vatican says?  Doing whatever it was that people like you have always done regardless of how much trouble that caused and how much suffering will ensue?  Bah.  The search for truth is looking for answers to questions and being willing to change based on the answers you find, not just deciding that what your grandparents' cultural leader did must clearly have been true and right and ignoring all evidence to the contrary.

It continues to amaze me that people within the church can be so supportive of its policies that discriminate against them in particular.  The Catholic church is massively discriminatory against women and homosexuals (though they often try to pretend not to discriminate against women these days) as well as other groups and yet there are women happily? serving in subordinate positions despite the sexism that prevents them having any significant authority or visibility.  It drives me bonkers to listen to church leaders talking about women in glowing terms and complimenting their accomplishments while simultaneously slamming the door in their faces.  Sorry, I like you well enough, but God hates you.  Go read the Bible if you don't believe me!

I probably should just avoid churches entirely.  Sitting there seething isn't helping anything; I should either get out my spray paint and bucket of blood and have at their symbols with a vengeance or just stay away entirely.  I really want to utter some kind of binding oath to never darken the doorstep of a church again but practicality has stopped me thus far.  Eventually this would cause me to miss the wedding or funeral of someone I cared about, that or renounce my vow which makes it not much of a vow at all.

1 comment:

  1. I don't understand how--given the career you've had--you can be so amazed that people make emotional, irrational decisions! Especially when most of these people have been fed these beliefs as children.
    You already know that for most people and in most things, "rational" explanations are applied to their decisions long after they've already made those decisions. You know that for a fair number of women and homosexuals that are members of that church, they understand the fear and discrimination they experience in that organization, but they "can't" leave, because the things they have most been taught to value are based on that organization, and they've been taught that absolutely horrible things will happen to them if they do--ranging from "you will suffer torment in hell" to "your family will stop talking to you if you come out against this religion."
    The system persists, in part, because its values persist even in those it persecutes, and in part because those values are planted early in the minds of its targets, and watered with reinforcement throughout the childhood and youth of those they are planted in.