Sunday, October 30, 2005

Foundering faith?

Lately I've found myself in the midst of a crisis of faith. I still believe in God--but I have very deep-seated doubts about the Catholic faith. So the Church strictly prohibits abortion and has massive issues with homosexuality. My own opinions happen to differ. For example, I think that abortion is a far more complex issue than most theological discussions of it allow; abortion is not a black and white issue. I mean, how can I, in good conscience, force a woman who has been the victim of rape or incest to carry a child of that crime to term? This is an issue I have really struggled (and am still struggling!) with. And I understand that it's okay to question.

While I also question the exclusion of women from the priesthood and I grow irritated when I hear of the Church excommunicating people even in this day and age, what has angered me so much, forced me to the point of completely disassociating myself from the Catholic Church is the Church's increasingly rigid stance on homosexuality. Banning gay priests outright? Come on! Some people have used the sexual abuse committed by priests as justification for this move. I say, however, that this is short-sighted and, ultimately, prejudicial. As if heterosexual people can't be paedophiles!!! It is this sort of ignorance that I can't abide.

I recognize that the Church is run by a bunch of very fallible, very human men. I realize that they make mistakes, that--despite their most vehement assertions to the contrary--they are not always going to represent the will of God. (Did I mention that I question even human beings' ability to truly know God? See the Book of Job for a few reasons why.) I know that the Divine is not always the Church. But even with that understanding, I really don't know if I can--or want--to call myself a Catholic.

The thing is that I've never seriously considered converting to any other faith. There are a number of tenets of Catholicism that I do hold as true, and I know that I couldn't renounce my belief in them. So here I am, stuck in limbo, confused--in many ways, not unlike Job.

On a lighter note, I took a religion-related quiz (found via Becky.) Surprise, surprise: I don't stand with the good Catholics, but I'm not their polar opposite either. According to this quiz, my beliefs are closely aligned to those of Taoism (or at least as closely aligned as they're going to be in such a superficial, limited quiz.)

You fit in with:Taoism

Your ideals mostly resemble those of the Taoist faith. Spirituality is the most important thing in your life. You strive to live by all of your ideals, and live a very intellectually focused life.

60% spiritual.
0% reason-oriented.

Interesting, at the very least.

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