"Art is a lie that tells the truth" -- Pablo Picasso
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Because Christianity is So Ugly
Stephen Bates of the Guardiancomes out as an agnostic.
A South American bishop was recently censured for excommunicating the medical staff who had carried out an abortion on a nine year-old child to save her life after she had been raped by her father, but the fact that he saw nothing wrong with his decision – he also excommunicated the child's mother, though not her father – is a dazzling revelation of church attitudes that are all too common.
This is a dessicated lack of humanity and compassion and, if the church holds it, I am afraid I just can't agree, so I cannot return to mass. The evidence is that many other cradle Catholics share my view. The church can well say it does not modify its views to circumstance, but we are equally at liberty to say that we walk away in the face of such heartlessness.
And lest we think he's throwing his lot in with the "religion is all childish superstition" crowd,
A few weeks ago I was in hospital. The only visitors I received who were not relatives were Christian ones: five in all, including two Catholic priests. None of them tried to convert me – and I didn't stop the evangelical layman who asked if he could say a prayer over me – but I appreciated their brief visits even though I told them I was no longer a believer. They were performing a charitable act, unselfishly and compassionately.
I didn't get any hospital visits from atheist visitors. What might they have said to me: "This is as good as it gets, mate?" The fact that I am edging towards their camp – I guess I am at the agnostic stage – does not exactly cheer me. It just makes me sad.