Friday, August 20, 2004

Apparently, human stupidity has no limits. Every time I think that somebody has pushed the boundary as far as it will go, somebody else comes along and pushes it still further.

This rant brought to you courtesy of the Catholic Church. Here’s an excerpt from an article on Yahoo! News taken from an AP wire report:

“BRIELLE, N.J. - An 8-year-old girl who suffers from a rare digestive disorder and cannot eat wheat has had her first Holy Communion declared invalid because the wafer contained no wheat, violating Roman Catholic doctrine.“

A little further down in the article we find this gem:

“The church has similar rules for Communion wine. For alcoholics, the church allows a substitute for wine under some circumstances, however the drink must still be fermented from grapes and contain some alcohol. Grape juice is not a valid substitute.“

Okay, I have a problem with this. A little girl is condemned to Hell because she is allergic (apparently fatally) to wheat? Does God really care whether the cracker is made with wheat or rice? Is God going to send this little girl to Hell because of the way He made her? And alcoholics can’t get into heaven unless they fall off the wagon? Who came up with this crap?

To cap all of this off, here’s a quote from a FAQ on the Trenton Diocese’s Web site (this is the Diocese that the little girl belongs to) with emphasis added by me:

“When we enter a confessional -- or "reconciliation room" where we can sit and talk with the priest -- we are in the presence of our all-merciful God. And God accepts us as we are, not expecting that we give a perfect rendition of our failings, but only that we be as honest and sincere as we can. God's mercy takes care of the rest.

Okay, so confession doesn’t have to be perfect, as long as the thought is there, but Communion has to be just so and only just so, no matter what the intent. What’s wrong with this logic? Confession and Communion are both sacraments. They’re both supposedly requirements for getting into Heaven. Why are the rules different? Is God really that arbitrary?

This is why I object to organized religion. This has nothing to do with God and everything to do with the Church’s power over its adherents. I’m not just picking on the Catholic Church here either. Every organized religion has as its primary goal the aggrandizement of its Earthly representatives, whether in money or power doesn’t matter. Organized religions are by their very nature manipulative and exploitive of their followers.

Well, I don’t buy into that. I’m not going to take your word for anything. I’ve fallen prey to that con too many times. My relationship with my God is my business and none of yours and vice-versa.

I'm reminded of the old Jethro Tull song:

"Well if Jesus saves, then he better save himself
From the gory glory seekers who you his name in death."

That’s enough for now. Selah.

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