Today I’d like to talk about something that’s rather close to my heart, and that has been bugging me quite a bit recently. It’s to do with religion. I happen to be a practicing Roman Catholic, and not ashamed of it (I wonder if you’re still reading after that).
And that, in a nutshell is what bugs me; these days it seems to be open season on Catholics; a person can be atheist, agnostic, muslim, hindu, buddhist, whatever and there will always be a mixed view; some support and some hate. With Catholicism though, I’ve noticed a trend, hugely increased since the Pope’s step down from office, of nothing but hate.
I am currently one of the only practicing Catholics my age that I have met; this may be because a lot are confused, a lot may be hiding what they really feel, a lot may be just lazy. Regardless, if the subject turns to religion within most of my social groups, everyone seems extremely surprised that I believe in God, Jesus Christ, Communion, the Virgin Birth etc etc..
Occasionally, often actually, it goes beyond surprise. It turns to incredulous questions, it turns to derision. People begin arguments, anger starts to grow, and I end up leaving feeling like crap; all for believing in something? I don’t preach to anyone, or try to convert them. I am happy to talk if asked, but I always make sure to respect other people’s beliefs, people’s sexual orientation, people’s life choices regarding abortion and any other matter.
Why then, does it seem to be considered such a crime to be Catholic??
In my college recently, a tutor in one of my friend’s English tutorials went on a rant. He ranted about great men, great atheist men, who converted to Catholicism on their deathbed. He ranted about how disgusted and disappointed he was in them. How terrible it was. How, as an atheist, he could not understand nor condone what they did. Now, many might agree with him, and this is their choice. However, I am glad that I was not in that tutorial; I don’t think I could have handled the hate.
Make no mistake; I am not upset that he has these views or beliefs. What I am upset about is that he voiced them to the class in such an aggressive manner as to make anyone who didn’t agree with these beliefs feel persecuted, upset, worried and perhaps even scared.
Imagine for a moment that it was a Catholic, in a university, who was saying this about Athiests. Can you imagine the uproar and anger towards someone in responsibility saying these things towards students? Can you imagine the complaints and the demand for punishment? Now ask yourself, why does it not go both ways? Why is it ok to persecute one way, and not the other?
and think; If I had different beliefs would I feel safe going back into that classroom?
I understand that many people have issues with the Church. I understand there is a lot that has been done wrong, and has been continued to be handled wrongly.
All I ask is that you give the same respect to Catholics, as you do to all other religions. I don’t want arguments, I just want to be able to celebrate my faith, without feeling like a scummy piece of crap.
I didn’t mean to rant quite so much, but it is something that has been building quite a while, and I guess I needed to let it out.
Thanks for listening