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Religion

People’s faith moves them to evoke all manner of emotions. Today, I was directed to a Youtube link (thanks Lib!) that entailed a theological debate of sorts. This debate firstly was about the effect the Catholic Church has on the world and whether it is for good or for worse. Arguing in favour was the Archbishop of Nigeria, John Onaiyekan and British MP and Conservative Ann Widdecombe. In the opposing corner were controversial journalist and commentator Christopher Hitchens and acclaimed author, comedian, actor and jack of all trades Stephen Fry.

Brought up in a Catholic household in suburban Ireland and educated in a Catholic school both primary and secondary I was subjected to the teachings of the Catholic church throughout my youth. Like a lamb in a menagerie I grew into a sheep and stayed with the flock until my late teens wherein I strayed from my mandatory faith and embraced what the world had to offer and its surroundings. This, needless to say, caused consternation in my household but to this day I hold firm in my beliefs. My parents, fantastic in every aspect of life as they are, even to this day I believe still long for my return to my faith. This is however not their fault. I would subscribe to the theory that they are a product of the environments they grew up in, the Bible bashing society that existed in pre Celtic Tiger Ireland. Don’t get me wrong I would never question their commitment to their faith and they’re entitled to their beliefs but it’s just not my cup of tea. I am probably a believer in the world religions and perhaps could be described as an “a la carte” believer. I think almost every religion has some valid points and I see no reason why I cannot subscribe to a theory from whichever religion I choose. A deity and one true deity, I do believe in. But I would like to think this deity does not belong to a religion but to people in general.

Anyway, my eyes were opened to the vast bowlful of knowledge waiting for us when I started studying Jurisprudence and listened to messrs. Rousseau, More, Foucault, Marx, Chomsky etc…. I learned about the Summarian Gods and how they rose from the dead after three days(sound familiar anybody?) and how the Nicene Creed shaped the Christian etiquette and festivals we know today, deriving from Pagan festivals. I began to question my faith and impending scandals at the time sealed my fate. The sex abuse scandals in the Catholic Church broke. My ears burned as the facts were revealed. In a nutshell, priests raping children. These guardians of faith and of the community had betrayed their followers and they and the powers that be had the gall to cover up these appalling acts. At this time I do not categorize all priests in the same boat, I am on friendly terms with priests and more genuine, nicer people you could not meet. However, those responsible for these horrific acts had to be made accountable, which some since have but it is a slow process. I had lost my faith. To add to this the churches stance on condoms, to which they vehemently oppose the use of, has surely contributed to countless problems in Africa and farther reaching areas with regard to venereal diseases, their patriarchal and chauvinistic attitude towards women who are surely more sacred than men seeing as they alone are enamored with the ability to give life, their stance on marriage towards clergy members and celibacy which surely is not natural and so on. I just cant subscribe to this club any more. In my opinion they have used fear as a crutch to stand on and beat people with over the centuries gathering believers over time to create the biggest but perhaps most disillusioned and betrayed fan club of all time. As Stephen Fry quite elegantly and aptly put it, what would Jesus, a very enlightened and clearly admirable individual think of the church today and the abomination it has become. The power corrupting power.

Written by: John Fagan

Proofed by: Dara O’Conor

Uploaded by: Emma Duggan

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