religion, part 2: lapse

I have a huge amount of respect for the individual priests and nuns I have known over the years.  They are good, caring people who take the core messages of the Gospels to heart.  But the Church as a whole, with its hierarchy and its history and its political influence, is both more and less than its individual priests and nuns.  The Church I see today is not the Church of my childhood.  Maybe the Church of my childhood never really existed; after all, while I was learning about inclusiveness, forgiveness and tolerance at CYO camp,* priests were abusing children and the hierarchy was covering for them.  Women were excluded from power.  Humanae Vitae…well, do I even need to mention it?

By the time I finished college I was very deeply angry at the Church.  It was for all of the usual reasons, some of which I mentioned just now, and I won’t bore you with the details.  I still thought of myself as a Catholic but I no longer attended Mass.  The inclusive, many-paths-to-God teaching I had had as a child (which I still believe) had started to devour its own tail:  if in fact there were many paths to God, then it couldn’t really matter so much which path I was on, could it?  Surely I could love my neighbor and practice tolerance even though I couldn’t any longer stand with the Church as an institution.

Partly I was lazy (who wants to get up early on Sundays in college?), partly I was self-righteously wearing my newly discovered feminism like a merit badge,** but mostly I distanced myself from the Church because I came to the conclusion that I didn’t need the Church to live a meaningful and moral life; and if in fact there many paths to God, I didn’t need the Church as an organized body for my salvation either; and that being the case, I didn’t have to support an institution so deeply flawed.

*We literally sang Kum-Ba-Ya.

**I was a real pain in the ass.


4 responses to “religion, part 2: lapse

  1. I’m really enjoying your posts on your religion and you have captured exactly my objection to the Catholic church. Sing it sister!

  2. Catholic donations to anti gay organizations makes me insane.

    Feminist growth spurts are never a pain in the ass.

  3. Pingback: book larnin’ | ginger and lime

  4. Pingback: troubles with god | ginger and lime

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