Saturday, August 15, 2009

Final Thoughts on the Mission

This entry was written while I was away from home on a Catholic mission trip and subsequently placed in its correct timeslot. Line breaks generally indicate some amount of time between the writing of the paragraphs, as I penned these thoughts over the course of the day. I have not changed the content of this entry, save for minor spelling and grammar corrections.

Social justice is important for everyone. It doesn’t matter that these people are Catholic and I’m not; equality and respect of human dignity are things that we can both agree upon. I’ll be honest: I agree with almost everything I’ve seen this week, with the exception of the Catholic stuff. Take all that faith nonsense out, and you have an amazing set of morals and some people who will do anything to promote social justice. These are good folks. They’ve got it all right… except, again, the religion part.

I feel a bit like I’ve been unplugged from the Matrix of religion. I can hear Morpheus’ words as I write this: “Most of these people are not ready to be unplugged.” They’re not! I asked Allison today if she thinks the story of Noah’s ark is literally true, and she said yes. When I asked her why, she more or less said that she didn’t have a reason. I realized then that Allison is in deep. And why wouldn’t she be? She’s been doing it her whole life. I respect her and I think she’s very intelligent, but here’s the thing: She doesn’t want to think about it. It matters very little to her whether it’s true or not, because what’s more important is her children, her husband, her career, and her social status. Whether God is real or not is, overall, not that important. And this is likely true of a lot of Catholics/Christians I know. So ultimately, all I can do is agree to disagree and leave it at that.


  1. But it matters very much...

    It decides how you react to the things that happen in life - it decides who you vote for, what you teach your children, who you meet in your daily life and how you interact with them, whose opinions you believe and who you disregard, what you see as bringing status within your social circle, and practically everything else.

    It colours every facet of your life with its view of the world.

  2. You're right. Religious views do matter, a lot. My point here was that, for Allison, whether God is real isn't something she spends any time actually thinking about. She assumes it to be true and leaves it at that. She and I differ greatly in that regard: I've spent entire days poring over arguments for and against belief, whereas she barely gives it more than a passing thought from time to time, if at all. It just doesn't matter to her, because she has so many other things she puts higher on her list of priorities.

    When I said all I could do is agree to disagree, I was referring to how I'd have to act in debates with people like Allison. There's nothing I can say that will convince her of the error of her views, because she doesn't even want to debate whether they're right or not. It's not important to her if they're right or not; all that matters to her is that she holds the views. Put another way, they're right because she believes them.

    And of course I don't think that's a smart way to live. It's a very ignorant, close-minded way to go about things. But it's how she is. It's how a lot of people are. And there's really nothing I can say to change their minds about it.

    Thanks for your comment, and thanks for reading!