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A Catholic View

Here is an email I received in response to one of my essays.

A Catholic View

Polo Herrer : : 1999-06-11

I am a Catholic and read with interest your stance on Christianity in general. In many cases I agree with you. How did the European Christians, especially Catholics arrive here to slaughter my parents ancestors. Estimates range from 100-500 million to 1 billion people lost their lives in the three centuries after the Finding of the New World. No holocaust here though.

However, I would like to share my opinion on a few points:

  1. To Christians and Catholics, life is a gift from God. Now you have to admit, two cells meet and form a complex being as humans and other animals. Yes I know that DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) is a remarkable combinatorial, possibly fractal encoded, sequence of simple chemicals that cause cell replication and formation. But to an average person, it is still very miraculous. I know. I am very well rounded in many different disciplines, but when my two children were born, it is hard to stand there in the glory of their first breath and think, hmmm, got lucky, all there and working. With that simple belief that it just can’t be all chance, we assign the life as a gift from God. Does that mean God, stopped his/her (you say him all the time, but is it) busy schedule to deliver a spirit to this child. Maybe. You don’t know and neither do I. So belief can be what you want it to be. So if you let Christians start there, then you will understand that taking a life, no matter what the circumstance, is against what we believe. Now don’t think that this is my stance in particular. I am just trying to inform you how Christians see it. I am torn with the issues of abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide, capital punishment, incarceration for life and other issues. But others are not. They see life they way I mentioned and feel they shouldn’t interfere with the course God laid out for that life. This is their belief, people should be allowed to have it. Aren’t you busy putting your beliefs on them when you state they have no right to make this decision? You could be just as wrong.

    Not at all. For example in my euthansia essay I say " Use your churches to browbeat your fellow Christians into refraining from phaspacts and phactpared, but kindly leave the rest of us alone. This should be a religious and moral issue up to each individual conscience, not a legal one, where Christians force their religious beliefs on everyone else."

  2. Teachings of the Bible as verbatim what God wanted to say. I am with you all the way. Of course, I can’t say that to most Catholics, they would have me excommunicated or something. But really, what are the true tenants of the Bible. Jesus said(if he existed of course) you need only two commandments (he knew people needed the Cliff’s notes version of the 10 commandments) Love God above all else. Love your neighbor as yourself. Now the first one is belief and love of a Christian God. Pretty easy if you belong to that faith. Number two on the other hand, well people just don’t seem to get that one straight. If everyone did just that, this would be a different world. Fundamentalist of any faith have problems with other faiths. My church requires us to be apostolic. Change everyone we can. Well, this isn’t so different from what you are doing. Don’t be Christian is about the same as be Christian isn’t it?

    I am not telling Christians what to believe. I am saying, don’t believe nonsense. I am asking them to think about what they have foolishly and blindly accepted as truth. Christianity only works if you refuse to examine how unsound its fundamental assumption are. I don’t even ask people to look at my two religions, living love and CCism, much less accept them on faith.

    I have a problem with recruiting other people to my faith. I feel if God wants them to hear the message, s/he will get it to them somehow. Be it Catholic, Christian, Islam, Shinto, Hindu, Jewish or any other faith. S/he may even get the message to them with no religion. Am I your average Catholic, no. Would the Pope be happy with my ideas, no. Is God, don’t know and neither do you. Also, who is the Bible originally teaching to. Uneducated masses of people who need some sort of moral guidance. Give the simpletons some simple rules and it just might work out ok. Now though, I think there are more educated people and these simple ideas are getting a bit thin for them. So these stories should be looked upon as just that. But there are many goods ones with good points. Unfortunately there are also some bad ones. Well humans get things wrong all the time, why think we didn’t here.

  3. Homophobia. I am sure you find this one in particular a difficult one. Well lets see, if there were an animal species that only practised homosexuality they would not exist again. Pretty simple. Now, humans are not just some simple animal. As best I can tell, we are the most spectacular species yet on this planet. So with it comes an intellect that allows us to do things that other species can’t. Homosexuals can exist because there are plenty of heterosexuals to produce enough offspring to keep this human race going. Now with advent of technology and relaxing of adoption procedures, gay couples can be parents as well. Fine with me. Their children will make up their own mind as to their sexual preference. The gay community is always stating that many of them were born this way. Then it is just as likely that children to gay couples will also find out how they were born, gay or not. It will be interesting to see if children from gay couples have a higher percentage of being gay as well?

    All homosexuals were spawned from nominal heterosexuals. Children born to gay parents through artificial insemination might have a greater chance of being gay, but children raised by gays have the exact same chances of turning out gay or straight as those raised by straights.

    Shouldn’t be, don’t you agree? Whole other topic though. So, anyway, for simpletons at a time when child bearing killed many women, disease and famine killed many children and many men died in battles, having gay families just didn’t fit in at the time. We needed humans and lots of them, so they thought. Anyway, I think that is why the Bible speaks the way it does about gays. Am I right? I don’t know.

    The logic behind banning homosexuality was sexually transmitted diseases before the invention of the condom or any medications to deal with them. Promiscuity meant a guaranteed early death.

  4. Do other faiths measure up any better that Christians? Not from where I stand. Lets see. Fundamentalist Muslims slay a 13 year old girl because she doesn’t wear a veil. Yup, good reason there. It is stated, not in the Koran but in other writings, that a woman’s hair and body for that matter, excite a man and should therefore be covered up for the sake of man not being enticed. Well lets see, doesn’t that make man some unthinking compulsive animal that can’t control his urges? Sounds like an excuse for oppression to me. I am sure if I did some research that no religion would pass the ultimate true morality meter you seem to have in your hand. All make mistakes of one kind or another. But we are humans, we do that everyday, mistakes. We should learn from them, but often we just don’t listen to ourselves. It will always be that way, even if everyone is equally educated and enlightened.

    My beef is with fundamentalists and inerrantists of any stripe.

  5. I think that any form of grouping of any humans only causes problems. Gay, straight. Black, white, brown, yellow. Tall, short. Thin, fat. Good, bad. You name it. The minute you place anyone in one group, they are immediately excluded from another. We have a major problem with classification. We are all human. Period. We are so many, there are bound to be differences. Even major ones. Are we not all equal? Yes I say. And I believe that. Do you treat everyone the same? Doubt it. Do I? No, but I do try. You learn from your surroundings as a child. It is later in life that you can change them if you want to. I want to. It is time consuming and difficult, but I will make the changes in myself I feel I need to. Can I do this for others? Nope. Can they do it for themselves? Only if they WANT to. Otherwise, forget it. Do I hope my children will be better than I? Why else have them. Will they be raised Catholic? Yes. Why? Why not. I think I can raise them to be as open minded as I am, maybe more so, maybe not. They will also make their own decisions. I may not like many of them. But that’s ok. I will love them just the same. I will only ask of them two things: be true to yourself and love your neighbor as yourself.

I am sure you are saying, who is this guy and when will he stop typing. Well now.

Good luck to you. I found other things on your website interesting and helpful. Keep up the good work.

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