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05-14-2009   #22 (permalink)
Catharsis
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Each to his own. I do hope people just respect each other even if they have differing opinions.

I'm a Catholic. I live in a predominantly Catholic country with its own share of both saints and hypocrites. I have once been an agnostic, but made an informed choice to become a Catholic.
I was educated by a religious order frequently excommunicated in the past for being too outspoken and liberal. They have taught me both the good and the bad, and always responded to my questions even if the answers weren't pretty.

I have come to realize that what a person does with his religion is his own choice. The institution can only offer theories, but the person must practice it properly. Even the institution makes mistakes about practice, same as the (fragile) people who compose it. I suppose that is why I can proudly say that I am a Catholic even though our history is tainted by bloodshed.

I have a Muslim friend. Back in the 9/11 days, people were giving her a hard time. She could have taken off her veil to hide the fact and avoid harassment, but she wore it proudly. "Muslims have killed many, but they are misguided. Our doctrine teaches tolerance and peace. This is not true jihad." It's true; we've studied Islam, but the Muslim name has been tainted forever. It still does not make it wrong. Alas, some idiot Catholics (Jesus said to love thy neighbor, GFD IT) do not understand this, same as some idiot Muslims think they praise Allah by running into a crowd wearing a bomb.

There is just a general lack of understanding about religion in general, I believe. I suppose the more zealous fanatics think that the "apostolic mission" includes arguing their way into converting a non-believer, more's the pity. It's just... No. People don't get it.

It's really simple. If a person has chosen differently, LAY OFF. Just... Back off. You can advise a person to do the right thing (return a lost wallet, let the granny have this taxi) but you cannot force a person on his knees to bow and pray (or tell him that his religion is wrong, wrong, wrong). Because, well... Even an atheist can be a good person. Even Catholics and Muslims can be wonderful people.

My two cents.



(EDIT: If anyone harasses me in the forum or via PM about being a Catholic again, I will get rid of you. YES, YOU. Do not try to convert me, or put me through another Inquisition. Respect me, and I will respect you.)
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