Thursday, October 27, 2005

Q: Does the Church SUCK? A: Yes, but...


I need to talk to you cause I don't have anyone else
on the matter. I've been having a lot of mental
duress due to religion and I need your advice to shake
it off. I feel tired and sick of being a part of Christianity
as a religion. Even if I feel different and think
different than other people, I'm still considered part
of the group and I still understand the group's
language and I honestly am coming to hate it. I'm
sick of the superstition; the fear of science and the
lack of reason about the simplist things. However, I
feel oppressed because I can't simply leave it. I
can't seem to seperate my emotions from the parts that
are bullshit and the parts that are worth having. I
think it is still partly a fear of religious rules. I
don't know what else to say than I feel trapped.
I'm asking you as my friend to try and tell me
something that might help. I know you know this
situation for me and you have had some of the
experience yourself.


Hello xx:

Naturally, I can understand your frustration with the Christian social structure where superstion is the rule and science is an ever-growing threat. Certainly you are not trapped, as you can choose to live your life anyway you want, and simply remove yourself from the community and exercise that particular "freedom of movement" that we Americans are so fond of.

Even though we know the church is filled with sillyness, from what I can tell it's the only community left that can give us a real polis to participate in. With some slight modification here I can import and use some Aristotle to my advantage: When we come to the final and perfect association, formed from a number of social groups, even religious social groups, we have already reached the polis -- an association which may be said to have reached the height of full self-sufficiency; or rather to speak more exactly we may say that while it grows for the sake of mere life and is so far, and at that stage, still short of full self-sufficiency, it exists when once it is fully grown for the sake of a good life and is therefore fully self-sufficient. Man is by nature an animal intended to live in a polis. He who is without a polis, by reason of his own nature and not of some accident, is either a poor sort of being, or a being higher than man: he is like the man of whom Homer wrote in denunciation: "Clanless and lawless and heartless is he."

I don't think you want to be heartless, and I don't think you are even drawn that way. But I do think you could be tempted by the "Clanless" part. That would be a mistake. At the gates of birth, marriage, aging, and death, only the church can offer something. Associations, consumer unions, they all have a valuable place. But the tradition of the church seems best among them.
Maybe you dont' find all this helpful, but ask youself: just where would you go?


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