Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Questioning Religion and Faith

In reading an article in which gendered participation in the LDS church organization structure was being questioned, a few reservations really resonated with me: 
"Are we really going to let wondering become a red flag of lack of faith? Are we going to deny any give and take, any room for struggle, for doubt, for weakness, for pain, which often are the tools that bring us to more solid testimonial foundations that we started on?"
I was reminded of a German woman I wound up defriending from my social networks. Raised an atheist, she become an agnostic before converting first to Protestant Christianity and ultimately to Catholicism. She publicly derided me for blogging about the issues in the Catholic church, issues with which I continue to struggle and have disagreed with for years, because, in her mind, one follows the doctrine and teaching of the Catholic church without question. The Church had declared something to be so; therefore, my job was to accept it. My reasons for blogging, which included the mental clarity that blogging provided, were tantamount to blasphemy.

I tried explaining that my blogging helps clarify the issues, that blogging helps me ascertain what I really think and feel, and that it helps be gain some perspective, but she was having none of it. I finally removed her from my FaceBook feed because while I can appreciate being disagreed with, the manner in which I conduct myself within my faith is no one's business - with the exception of my priest - and I no longer wanted to put myself in a position in which I was publicly taken to task for voicing my own struggles.

I've been a Catholic my entire life, and I don't think that's likely to change anytime soon. She seemed incapable of having a calm discussion about differences of opinion and interpretation, and the manner in which one accepts one's version of the truth. I don't have much room for such attitudes in my life.

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