Easter for me has always been a truly religious event. Christmas has become so commercialized that it is celebrated by non-Christians and in many ways has a distinct secular feel to it. But not Easter. It is a celebration of the resurrection of Christ, and as such only those who believe that the Son of God rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion could celebrate it. I remember going to Mass and singing at the top of my lungs:
Jesus Christ has risen today, hallelujah
But I am not a good Catholic… Certainly, not in the eyes of the church since I don’t agree with all of its teachings. I was raised in an environment that insisted that I had to do it the Catholic way or risk excommunication. Well, I have never been good with authority figures. If anyone were to tell me to look right, I’d probably look left. Of course, had they asked, it would have been different. But the church is not good at asking. They have a law of their own, and anything that strays from their teaching is just plain wrong. Well, after years of this, I have sent myself into a self-imposed exile. I cannot accept a religion that is so inflexible.
People have told me that the church is changing, that they no longer spew fire and brimstone. Well, the current brouhaha surrounding John Kerry and his “worthiness” to receive communion has simply confirmed all my fears. Boston archbishop, Sean O’Malley, stated last summer that pro-choice Catholics are “in a state of grave sin” and so, not worthy to accept communion–the body of Christ. While the Boston diocese has now determined that any priest may give Kerry–and presumably any other pro-choice Catholic–communion, St. Louis Archbishop R. Burke states that he would definitely refuse Kerry communion. I find Burke and his ilk a total turn off. And even though the Boston diocese changed its mind, it seems to be a politically motivated change rather than any real change in church thinking…
Well, I’m pro-choice too. I also believe that premarital sex is fine between two consenting adults. I also believe that contraceptives are not only okay, but a must in our day and age. Of course, the Catholic Church does not agree. Can you believe that if you talk to many priests even today, they will promote the “rhythm method”?!? Hahahahaahha. Obviously, these guys have never had sex, let alone know anything about sexuality. And I won’t even discuss the greater problem of pedophilia in a “church” that obviously looked the other way when problems arose in the past. I mean, how could you defend a church that wouldn’t admit for decades that these were crimes, let alone an abuse on their flock?
So while some may try to convince me that the current church has changed, I will simply point to the even more currrent Kerry controversy as evidence to the contrary. I still believe in God, but I will allow my conscience to be my guide and my soul to be my tabernacle. Organized religion is not for me.