I know, I know. Religion is one of the things you are not supposed to talk about in public – that, and politics!
Well, politics is a very big topic right now in our village, as the elections are coming up soon. There are the hot topics of growing unemployment and the gradual process of emigration from the village. The incumbents feel they are dealing with the problems, and point to their accomplishments. The opposition points to the ‘waste of money’ and the lack of progress. I suspect neither party really would make much difference, but I realize I have a pretty dystopian view of politics.
But back to religion. People in our village are mostly Catholic, but not particularly “church-y”, as my mother would say. Many of the older women still go to church, and during Easter they even hold a vigil in the church all night before Easter morning. I guess it’s supposed to be waiting for the re-birth, but don’t quote me on that.
Others either don’t believe, or nominally believe. In talking to a 30 year old friend, he says “I believe in god, but I don’t believe in the church. You don’t need to pay someone to talk to god on your behalf.”
I can respect that. I can respect people who believe, even though I don’t share those beliefs. In turn, I expect them to respect my beliefs, too. (I have always felt if most people dealt with others of different beliefs in that manner, we would not have so many problems in the world.)
I don’t have much respect for the organization of religion, though. They are always after money – why? Bigger buildings, paying admin, sending missionaries to convert people who would rather you left them alone.
I’m willing to acknowledge that I may be missing something here. Maybe it gives one comfort to gather together in a building to hear a sermon, sing hymns, and so on. But would it not give you just as much comfort to take a walk along the river, or go visit your folks, or read a book to your child? Could you not say a prayer yourself, and would not your god hear you just as well?
I don’t know, and I suspect many will violently disagree with me (somehow talking about religion prompts violent disagreement!). But in the meantime, I’ll let you go your own way, and I’ll carry on with my own.