With the election of the Pope Francis yesterday, I decided it to be pertinent to discuss religion. It is a well-known fact that the Vatican is rife with pedophilia, and this is the main point I wish to address. How can we take religion seriously (in this case Catholicism) if boys are being molested by priests that are supposed to be saintly? I empathize with atheists and those of a less tainted religion in this regard. Yet is an all-or-nothing approach the solution? I will consider meditation in trying to make sense of it all.
To be brutally honest, I have very little respect for the religion of Catholicism on the basis of pedophilia. Now this is not meant to be a personal attack on anyone, but only on the way the religion is entirely hypocritical (for reasons so obvious I won’t mention them). In fact, whose to say that Pope Francis is not inclined to molesting children himself? After all, it’s often said that the main reason priests are so prone to molestation is the forced repression of sexuality. Has Pope Francis not renounced sexuality himself? I’m sure many people would be offended by these statements, but ask any Catholic whether they are proud of these occurrences in the Vatican. It’s hardly the benchmark for sainthood. And yet the Catholic Church is still held in such high regard, namely 100 000 people gathering to catch a glimpse of the Pope.
I believe that if practicing religion is to have any validity at all, there cannot be even the slightest hint of the above-mentioned. I myself do not prescribe to any particular religion. I like to take from all kinds, whether Hinduism, Christianity, or any other wherein I find true resonance. But in this case, were I to choose between atheism and Catholicism, atheism seems the more logical choice. And while I’m not exactly giving atheism a great name comparing it to the controversy-ridden Catholicism, I stand firmly when I say atheists can be wonderful people, just like anyone belonging to any religion. I use it as an example only to point out a possible motivation for steering clear of religion all together.
Now where I find meditation comes into play in this mess that I’ve created in the preceding paragraphs, is that it actually seems to transcend these human problems we are faced with. That statement can come across a little lofty, so I will clarify. Firstly, in the state of meditation, one can truly know oneself, and therefore need have no religious texts to live by. One is completely in the moment if meditation is done correctly, and cannot but realize the magnificence of the universe, and as that happens, you forget about the little problems us earthlings are attached to so fiercely. Secondly, there is no prerequisite to meditation. One need not belong to any religion at all, and yet belong to any religion one wants. The great thing about it is that you don’t have to be anything. And by this I mean, you are bound to no duty or obligation. In Christianity for example, the Ten Commandments tell you how God wants you to behave. But in meditation, you can truly be yourself, and have no hang-ups about it.
So in the same way that priests are bound to a celibate life out of duty, Christians must “Love thy neighbor” out of duty. And the paradox of it all is that the opposite takes place. Like with children, the more you tell them not to do something, the more they want to do it. They have no unsavory intentions in mind; it is just so tempting! I believe this is why it is so common to find that religious people bound by duty are more often than not acting according to their duties. Therefore, the only way to truly behave in a way conducive to one’s morals, ideals, or God’s will if you’re religious, is to do so out of choice, and not because one has to.
Lastly, my quarrel is with the practices of so-called Catholics in society today, not the original teachings of the religion (which I’m sure many people still practice). I have no problem with any Catholics, except those that abuse the basic human rights that we are all born with (eg. molesting a child).
The heavy nature of the above can make life seem a little depressing. So here’s a video by Alan Watts to lift your spirits!