This is a rant of the highest order. If you don’t want to read it that’s fine, I’m OK with that. If you are offended by talk of religion, please just close the browser. I don’t want you do have a coronary. My aim isn’t to incite, but rather get this off my chest. The views here are strictly my own and I’m not claiming them to be the views of anyone or anything else.

And for those of you that know me I’m still the same person as before.  :-)  I don’t think lower or higher of you than before and I hope that you can give me the same shake.

– = –

Today I went to one.

It makes me sad to see a member of my extended family get sucked into an institution like the Catholic church. Especially without freely given consent — you can’t give consent when you’re only a few months old.

It makes me sad that I don’t have the balls to say this out loud — a-la the “speak now or forever hold you peace” moment in a wedding.

If someone joins a religion, Catholicism or anything else for that matter, when they are the ones that are joining it is something else entirely. A religion is a set of beliefs and world views that you share with the rest of the congregation. You can choose what you believe. If you choose to believe it then that is your choice. (I know, that’s a tautology.) The key is that you made that choice. As long as what you believe doesn’t grossly interfere with what I believe then we all get along just fine. Likewise, I don’t want to think that I’m forcing my views on anyone else — and that I’m not trampling on someone’s toes.

– = –

Let me back up a bit though. During the liturgy the priest went into a public-radio-pledge-drive-like spiel for the better part of half an hour.

The goal of the pledge drive is $2.1MM for this parish.

I don’t have a problem with a parish raising money like they are to build a new addition onto the church. I do have a problem with the Cleveland Diocese taking 70% of the money. Of course the priest made it a point to note that some of the money will be used to “defend” the church from the “problems in the past 15 years.”

If you are giving money to explicitly defend criminals (“defend” is the term used by the priest remember), then what does that make you? I’ll gladly accept things like public defenders offices to ensure that people get a fair trial. I will not accept non-reporting of felonious behavior when you are in a position to help defend not your employees, but rather the public at large.

I checked the audit statement on their site and could not find reference to what the priest spoke of. I’m wondering where the money is going to. He said the money goes to the diocese and some portion of that goes to the charity. The ambiguity is disconcerting. If some of the money is being siphoned off to defend sexual predators I’d be pretty put off.

My guess is that the other corporation was formed to divert attention from the main accounts of the diocese. Presently (latest audited report, June 2010) there is $7.3MM in the general purpose fund of the bishop.

Umm… I’d rather pass.

Especially when the diocese seems more interested in money and closing successful parishes than most anything else at the moment.

– = –

In any case, back to the baptism at hand. I’m not going to rehash what I sent to the bishop last year since that still pretty much sums up my feelings about the matter. I don’t have a problem with people being religious if it is of their own choosing. I believe that doing baptisms of infants is immoral since they don’t have a choice in the matter — they can not exercise their “god given” free will. It took me a lot of work and heartache get get out.

How can someone “enter into a covenant” when they have no idea what a covenant is? They can’t even say ma-ma or da-da let alone comprehend the notion of some event that can’t be un-done. (According to the Church you can’t be un-baptized.)

The priest noted that this was more important than your wedding day. On that day you have the “speak now” bit. For something that has more gravity, would it not be important as well? (Ok, I am being a bit facetious. The point of the “speak now” is to try to prevent bigamy since you could theoretically get married in many villages since there wasn’t central registration of everything back in the day)

I am disappointed that they are now in a misogynistic culture that is more about exclusivity (i.e. building walls) than bringing people together. In a culture that thinks they are above the law. In a culture that does not accept the fact that condoms do prevent AIDS and should be used in sub-Saharan Africa. In a culture that does not accepts gays and lesbians. In a culture that does not celebrate or even accept diversity.

I am deeply disappointed and deeply saddened.

– = –

Of course an infant can’t answer the questions that are posed or recite the profession of faith. The parents do it on their behalf.

I, on the other hand, can.

Renunciation of Sin

Do you reject Satan, and all his works, and all his empty promises? The question is predicated on incorrect assumptions; I reject the notion that Satan exists.

Apostles Creed

I believe in God the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. No. (Though I do admit that something caused the universe, or even the laws of physics maybe, to spring into existence) Earth does exist though, but I believe that it was formed in a cloud of gas and dust.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. No. It is plausible that a man existed that claimed to be devine though. His name may have been Jesus. Christ is a title. I can claim to be devine as well and have an equivalent level of proof.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary No, absolutely not. It goes against all biological principals.
Under Pontius Pilate He was crucified, died, and was buried. Plausible. Pontius Pilate existed and many crucifixions occurred. This led to many people dying.
He descended to the dead. No, I reject the notion of “to the dead;” dead is dead, no further decent happens. Similarly, I reject “hell” and “purgatory.” I would not reject this statement if it read “He died.”
On the third day he rose again. No. If someone were dead, they stay dead. (In the current era of medical science you might have a short while of medical “dead” before you can no longer be restarted, but three days is too long) If he were found to be alive after three days he was not dead to begin with.
He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. No. I reject the notion of “heaven” and the possibility that it is “above” me. Besides, “above” on the spherical Earth is relative to the individual.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead. No.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, No.
the holy catholic Church, It exists, but I wish it didn’t. I would certainly not call it “holy” however.
the communion of saints, No. Saints were sainted by humans, not by the devine. There are plenty of saints that, objectively, you would not call them saints. But that’s another blog post.
the forgiveness of sins, People can in fact forgive misdeeds by other humans.
the resurrection of the body, No.
and the life everlasting. No.
Amen. Amen.