Monday, July 11, 2011

Holy fool

(a quick note: I've once again noticed a shift in the content and style of my blog as I so often do.  In the 11 months I've had my blog, I've gone from being superficially humourous to a mix of my outlook on topics with actual weight in addition to that humour to what it is now, and what it is now, I can't exactly put a finger on.  I've looked back at what I've written recently and thought to myself, "does this actually matter?"  I've shifted into writing meaningless anecdotes about my life, and while I won't entirely erase that (since they are in part what makes me so special, I say), I want to revert back to my "professionalism" - by that I mean, I want to at least get back to writing something with a meaning behind it aside from being a short blurb made in aim to garner a laugh.  I don't expect that to make a shard of sense)

I'm a Catholic by label.  I was raised by Catholic parents (well, that's not entirely true - my dad is Catholic and my mom is Orthodox, but she made the decision to raise my sister and I as Catholics); I went to a Catholic elementary school and high school, went through all that jazz like Communion and Conformation.  When I say I'm only Catholic by label, I mean that since graduating high school, my life has been anything but Catholic (or religious, for that matter) - in fact, I haven't set foot in a church for at least three years, and I feel like if I did now, I'd burst into flames.

That doesn't go to say that I was a "good" Catholic when I was still growing up in such environments: I dreaded mass at school (in elementary school, the twenty minute walk to the church; in high school, the makeshift church in the gym which reached unbearable temperature and uncomfort levels); I didn't care for my Religion classes, even though I did extremely well in them due to their easy nature.  I probably broke a few of the Commandments every day - like hell I honoured my parents much when I was a teen.  "No, mom and dad, I'm not going out drinking.  Shut up!"  I've murdered one or two people, too.  (side note about Religion class in high school: looking back at it, it was a complete waste, and to be honest, I would much rather have took four other credits aside from it being mandatory every year.  Really, that's logical: instead of wasting space once every year with a meaningless class, why not pick up an extra math or science class?  It's only really beneficial in the end.  Mind you, the solution to that would be "just go to a public school," but the closest public high school to my house is literally a crack den)

Now that I'm completely free from environments where Catholicism was enforced, I haven't been very religious at all.  I've been immersed in a university setting where I'm visibly and spiritually a minority, and that experience is actually interesting to me; on campus, where Catholicism "lives on" happens to be in student groups where the only members are "die hards" and force bibles on you as you try to walk to class.

Faith is a tricky thing.  I've never experienced anything massive enough in my life where I've had to turn to faith for guidance; in a sense, I'm lucky in some way, but similarly I'd say I've probably missed out somehow because I'll never be able to say that my faith in God was so strong that I was carried through something.  While religion isn't overly my thing, I can only step back and truthfully appreciate those who are capable of giving everything they have into a belief for guidance in a sticky situation - that takes a lot of faith in something, and myself as a person will never be able to invest myself in something so great that I can't even convince myself exists.  The extent of a situation like that would be when my Nonno passed away three years ago - I have my three other grandparents - but even then it was hard for me to feel anything.  Reading that sentence without meaning would suggest I'm a very awful person: I hardly knew him as he was confined to a hospital bed for my entire life, and I can say that death brought him peace in some way.  It was a very trying time for my dad (it was his father), and while the day of his passing and the funeral were very solemn times, I couldn't give myself up to the emotion of divinity or even to the thought of an afterlife.

That, perhaps, is one of the bigger factors in my mistrust in religion: as I've already said, it's difficult for me to invest myself in something I don't know is concrete, and truthfully, the idea of Heaven and Hell sometimes feels foolish to me, and I'm not entirely sure something like that exists.  I'd like to, but I hate thinking about death, about the thought that there's nothing, and you're simply gone.  Perhaps aside from that, I can't get myself into the "ritualism" of my religion; as I've said, I dislike church, and I can't help but sometimes feel it's cult-ish.  I'd never vow to myself to lead a sinless life, because come on, I swear I've committed twenty sins in some shape since waking up two hours ago.  I can't continually turn for repentance when sin is ingrained in my being.

Am I an atheist?  No.  To be perfectly honest something about atheism rubs me the wrong way because more often times than not I encounter self proclaimed atheists who become pretentious pricks in their "ha, you believe in a God?" claims.  In a similar vein, I don't shit on other religions, because everyone is entitled to their beliefs - only when religions "fight" with each other (and by that I mean when one chooses superiority) am I bothered.  I would say that there is probably something, someone, some deity that created everything you see around you: the idea of life just baffles me, and my confusion is only tripled when I think that it came out of nowhere.  I just know that everything is not a result of nothing; rather, it's all a result of something, but I can't imagine what.

Religion just isn't for me.  I'm not open-minded enough to give myself completely to faith, and I'm okay with that: my life isn't dictated by faith, and I don't let religious topics bother me.  (unless I'm blogging right here and now) I'm the type to require fact, and religion is just too devoid of proof for me to buy into.  Much like Casey Anthony's prosecution - not enough evidence!  (too soon?)

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