Sep 24, 2009

A Word About Religion... Oh My!

Images from Carl Jung's soon-to-be released (and controversial) Red Book.
Photos of the "inland explorer's" art work from The New York Times.

Caroline Lazar is still in high school but already won a writing contest over at McSweeney's. I just love McSweeney's and now I love Caroline too. Here's how she starts her winning piece Oh My Gawd: A Column About a Teenager Navigating Religion.

I once set a priest on fire. This was not a radical action of protest or a fitful spell of hatred against the church. This was a clumsy entry into my teenage years. I had been chosen to light the Advent candles one March and the match slipped from my hand on to Father's bright robe. A spark caught the fabric, which erupted into a flame, singeing a hole into the back of the robe. I frantically fanned the man (after blowing on the fire, as if he was a birthday candle on the cake of Christ), and eventually extinguished the blaze. Welcome to Adolescence, please check your elegance at the gate! Luckily, the priest was so absorbed in his homily by that point, he didn't know or care about the forest fire I had set on him.
With the Catholic Church alight in its own inferno of scandal and criticism, it is difficult for someone growing up in a time of change to continue to adapt to the Church's views. Especially when that someone isn't completely convinced in the first place.

Please read the rest of this witty, insightful young girl's column over here.

She is proof positive as to why I am never going to force my kids to go to church on Sunday and why I will be honest with them about my own issues concerning organized religion. My issues need not be theirs, of course. More like, feel free to seek your own path. Maybe a Church, or yoga or Jung can help you? But always, all hail to the "Church of Doing Good Things". Be nice, work hard, play fair. Oh and... tolerance! Especially for blasphemous moms such as yours!


jona. said...

i've never been too fond of organized religion myself. pinaka-malaking negosyo yan 'no. tax free pa. haha.

Nona said...

always good to hear your comments jona. sige lang! hehe... God is good, Jesus rocks, but when the hypocrisy of so-called holy people schew things... ayayay...

Cely said...

If you think you're a blasphemous mom, I am one too.
I'm Catholic, I was baptized, had first communion and was confirmed when I was in Middle School...

Now that I'm an adult, I still believe in God but I don't go to church anymore. To be honest, the last time I set foot in a church was when my daughter was baptised!

I loved that post, thanks Nona!

Nona said...

Hear hear Cely. I believe in God and goodness too. Oh and there are good people in Church (all churches, not just the Catholic ones)... it's just that we can't really say ALL of them are.

Was worried I would offend some people (maybe I did or will actually). Thank God not you : )

But sometimes you just have to make a stand for your own beliefs - even if it's not the norm. Especially in this town. There's a saying: The Philippines is more Catholic than the Pope/the Vatican or Rome....

Nana said...

I personally would like to EXPOSE my boys to the Catholic teachings. Then, like with everything, they can make their own choices and stand up for their own beliefs. Without prejudice. Like Caroline. She's astig ha!
I taught Catechism in high school and college. I wanted to be a nun for a brief moment. (Until I saw Scott Baio in Tiger Beat then that was that!) And I am grateful as I may have crumbled ten years ago if I didn't have the Faith that I have to guide me through.
So, yes, I am a practicing Catholic but I am not your "hook-line-and-sinker" kind of one. Having said that, I think its high time for some serious revamp over in that institution.

Viva La Vida Mama said...

Astig nga : )

Faith is a powerful thing Nana. I saw how it helped you and I've seen how it has helped so many others too - Catholics and Christians as well. It's always wonderful to find your path to healing and happiness.

But it IS high time for that serious revamp... reasons for which one comment cannot contain. : D

Cely said...

Nona : I understand. It's sometimes difficult to talk to others about religion. Personally I truly think that, when the respect is there from both sides, we can talk about anything freely. Afterall, it's one of the definitions of "friendship", isn't it?
Oh and, by the way: YES YES YES ! Religion really means something in your country ! I’d love to go to one of your (Christmas) mass one day!

Nana : It's such a treat to read you, as always. I learned (and I'm learning) a lot from you on so many different levels.
Even if I don't go to church, I've always believe in God and I've always had faith, even if, at a certain time, I could not say it with the same conviction.
I'd like Emma to follow the same teachings as I do myself, but in knowing she will make her own choices too.

Hummm really love that post!

Barni said...

"I know religion is important to my parents, but they would rather see me subscribe to the Church of Doing Good Things than anything. "

That's the gospel truth! I like the idea of a community coming together to pray, and I believe everyone should seek to grow spiritually, but I don't always find that in Sunday mass. Hard when a bunch of supposedly chaste right-wingers preach about reproductive health effectively telling women they have no choice in the matter.

Nona said...

Amen Barn : ) Spirituality is so important and kids must be encouraged to find their own way. It's great how young Caroline has been given enough respect by her parents to do that - not forcing their strong beliefs on her.

Reproductive health is just ONE issue I have with the big C C....