Friday, September 30, 2011
First let me begin with this:
It was physics that lead me to God, not any religious ideas.
After I was made aware that all this (reality) is not a random causality, I began to research every religion on Earth, including those that are "extinct," so to speak.
The folk religions I saw as merely primitive expressions of the supernatural based on experiences with the natural. Eastern religions (Asian etc) I saw as more Philosophical, and at first was attracted to them, but they did not connect with what I observed with physics in regards to causality.
They seemed to be more of a self mastery form of belief. I then studied the 3 major religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
Islam I saw as a imitation of the former. While reading the Qu'ran and questioning Imams and others, I noticed redundancy. I got the sense that Islam was a "piece it together" sort of thing.
With Judaism and Christianity, I had to study them side by side since they are related. Judaism made sense, historically speaking. It is obvious something happened in history that led the Jews to believe Israel is some special place, etc. I then was curious where Christianity fit in. That's when I researched Christ.
Was He real, or a borrowed pagan myth, or a mere lunatic?
These are some of the questions I asked. After researching the "Jesus is Horus and Mithra" etc propaganda, I realized it was just bunk. Atheist scholar Michael Grant even acknowledges this. He states that Jesus was in fact real and not a replication of a previous pagan myths. From there I began to research why so many Churches exist.
Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons
Growing up in NYC, one can see a different Church on every block, not to mention the Watchtower and Mormons who visited our home. As expected, I did question them as well. They did not seem to have the answers. I also noticed that their representatives seem to be programmed to give a particular response to expected questions. It was like Turning test where a computer is programmed to give specific answers when getting specific input. When I posed a question on something, they were not prepared to answer, they then stumbled.
Evangelicals, Adventists, Pentecostals and Baptists et. al.
Then came the Evangelicals, Adventists, Pentecostals, Baptists. They seemed overly emotional and not focused on the academic part of religion. In order to believe, one had to "experience God." How the heck does an Atheist do that? How can you "experience God?" To us, their services look like a gathering of mental patients, so how can they expect us to interpret that as an "experience" of God?
Anyhow, I questioned them about this. If God is a mere "experience" of the Holy Ghost, then how do we know it is not just our brains getting a high off brain chemicals, the music and social gatherings? I feel good when I'm dancing or doing Zumba, is that adrenaline-emotional rush God? I don't think so...
Then I questioned about their ideas on the Bible. They value the Bible so much, but could not defend it. When I asked where in the Bible does the Bible list itself, they looked at me with a stone wall face. I was asking where in the Bible does the Bible state what books should make up the Bible. If the Bible is God's word and has the answers, then surely it would have answers about how it is supposed to be organized right? Well they didn't answer this. Then I questioned them about sola Scriptura. If the Scriptures is all we need, then why attend a Church at all? Why does the minister read a passage and then gives a sermon? Shouldn't have the Bible spoken to us already and therefore we have no need for anything extra?
Moreover, I didn't like their judgmental tone. They seemed to have an ax to grind with everyone who does not agree with them and insulted me in an aggressive neurotic manner.
I met some Eastern rite Orthodox folks and questioned them. However, they seemed to have many contradictions in their beliefs. Their prayers were also so clouded with ritualism that to an atheist it would be impossible to decipher what the heck was going on. I remember seeing smoke appear out of nowhere and thinking batman was about to pop out; and not to mention all the chants and random movements that were "interesting" but had no meaning to me.
Then came the Catholics. I read up on them, got a catechism and read it, etc. I loved how the Catechism is set up with citations and explanations of why Catholics believe. This helped me do more research. I looked up those cites and then looked at more and more. I fell in love with the order and academic tone the Church presented. As a student of Science, naturally Science was my "religion." Therefore, I had to measure all these ideas against it. Catholicism was the only religion I saw as promoting science and literally developed it as we know it today. They sponsored scientists, have observatories and encourage it. Many clergy are scientists! I eventually met Msgr Albacete who was a physicist at Nasa and a former atheist. How cool was that for ME - a young atheist physics student? I felt at home.
One of the major times God got my attention
However, I never stepped foot in a Catholic building. This came way after when this random lady approached me and called me "father." I was dressed like an urban youth from NYC and she called me "father" and asked me to pray for her daughter. This just sent chills through my spine. I did not know what to say only that I wasn't a "father" but nonetheless went to the Church nearby with her and we prayed - or she did because I did not know the words she was using. But I did do something mentally and basically said, "Ok mister sky inter-dimensional entity, this is your chance, stop hiding."
I felt this peace like the peace a child feels when he/she is in his/her mother's arms - nothing matters anymore, no worries, no stresses, just this never ending peace that fills you inside and you literally feel like you're glowing. That's when I realized that there is something about this God stuff that is for real. I was not "stimulated" by emotions, music or a social gathering as with the Evangelicals. I was with this lady in a dark empty Catholic building, no music, just the random car horns from traffic outside echoing. God made the move.
To add to to the "chills," the lady stepped to the vestibule to get "holy water" and I went after her a few seconds later to ask her name and observe this act and she was not there. I stepped outside and no one was around. Either she ran like Flash or was transported to the Enterprise because she just vanished. I know she did not leave because I would've seen the sunlight enter as the front door opened, but no such thing happened. Those doors were the only exit and entrance.
Eh... not sure.... I need more proof
However, I didn't join then. I still did more research being the skeptic that I was and still am. As an atheist, I had to find an answer.
"Oh it was the mind " "no it was an illusion" "no it was something I ate that day."
We try hard to knock down anything supernatural even if our answers are ridiculous. Well as you can see, God won. :) I ended up in Catholicism for the mere fact that it is scientific, academic, can be traced to Christ/disciples, makes more sense when compared to other non-Christian views, and is a feared global force that never changes despite the tides of the world.
In the media, it is the Catholic Church that is always focused upon. Her voice is so strong that governments, the media, even academia must listen even when they do not agree. This would make sense since the Church is Christ's body and Christ did speak with authority even when people disagreed with him.
Nothing personal against other religions
I do visit non-Catholic services once in a while when invited or just to enjoy their liturgies. Every religion has a spark of the Divine. As long as they're focused on the Creator, who am I to judge them? Christ said He has other sheep that are not of the flock but hear Him call.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
What if God isn't real? What if it's a big mind game that people have used to control society for thousands of years? What if you are just another collateral piece of that puzzle?
Then that would show how easily humanity can fall for any deception. If an idea (game or not) that brings people to change; to become good, holy, loving, hopeful, understanding, compassionate is a mind game, then it is a good one. :)
faithful, hopeful and charitable.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
"natural purpose"? So women that are incapable of having children have no purpose? This mindset is not only 100 years out of date, it's insulting.
Not at all. My statement was made to reflect the normal biological function of the female gender, not to attack those who are barren. No woman who is barren will get offended if she sits in a biology class and learns about the female reproductive system and its functions.
Monday, September 12, 2011
I am not afraid of women, I am afraid about what women are being told about their dignity and natural purpose. When women are told that their offspring are nothing more than parasites, then I and others must speak out against this attempt to instill tokophobia on women. My mother loves me greatly. It is from here that I learned how to value women and motherhood. Therefore, I will not stand idle as strange feminist rhetoric attempts to destroy Womanhood.
I am curious to know your thoughts on the issue of Church & State as it is in 2011. I think that the Catholic Church has, in the last 10-20 years, become more involved in political issues around the world. Do you think this is true. What are your thoughts
I think the Church and State have had a healthy relationship for many decades; however, issues such as gay marriage are testing that relationship. The Catholic Church is not interested in ruling countries or temporal power. It is interested in saving souls or bringing souls to Christ. Issues like abortion, war, gay marriage are issues that concern the Church so She must speak out. The Church cannot remain idle as the world loses itself to chic ideas that appear every decade or so. Other issues like healthcare have gotten the attention of the Church because of abortion and contraception. It is not fair for the federal government to push these ideas on Catholic hospitals and institutions that deal with healthcare.
How do you respond to the multiple sexual abuses of children in Philadelphia by Catholic clergy, hidden up at the highest levels? -->Remember that not answering is acting in the same behavior that those sinful priests took.
Well I am not informed of every case, but will comment generally. All abuse is sinful and criminal. There is no reason for a priest or anyone to violate a child or adult. It is horrific and evil to even think of hurting a child or adult. As Blessed Pope John Paul II wrote in 2002, "People need to know that there is no room in the priesthood for those who abuse children." The Church is not new to scandal. However, the Church thrives when it is attacked from within and without. The abuse of children or adults can never be condoned or tolerated within the Church or society. Moreover, those who hid criminals or attempted to distract law officials from bringing justice must face justice here and before God.
On what grounds do you consider it just to require a person to act against their moral judgement merely on the grounds that your moral judgement differs?
We all should have an informed conscience. That is to say, that our conscience should reflect God's will, the natural law, and the common good. These should be our guide. When some in the world believe good can come from evil acts, then everyone with an informed conscience must speak out. When good is silent, evil thrives.