The Antichrist; supposedly he will be peaceful (at first...?), he will be elected to power, he will rule a one world government that is red (communist or socialist), he will be the ultimate deceiver. Looking within myself: I am pro-choice, pro-contraception, anti-death penalty, anti-big corporation. Right there there is a conflict. How can I be pro-life but also pro-death? Am I giving myself in to this "culture of death?" I believe it is within everyone's freedom to make their own personal decisions regarding their body and what goes on within their bedroom as well as making their own choices concerning when they will conceive. But are we trying to play God by doing that? I have been taught that by not using contraception and using NFP we are psychologically opening ourselves up to the possibility of conceiving and therefore there is no resentment from either party if conception occurs; we are also validating ourselves and almost adding a safety cushion (if conception occurred at a particular time that was not ideal AKA an accident) that the child is a gift and that it is meant to be. However, can you not also reach this same psychological and social goal of a loving bond between man and woman of supporting and relying on each other, dealing with every battle together, without bringing the extra God element into the picture?
It almost seems as if reverting to a more simple shared lifestyle of our predecessors from 10,000 years ago before the establishment of organized religion is exactly what the bible says is the Satanic way. With sex used as a social connection rather than strictly a reproductive, (as it indeed was until marriage came about, which by the way was created by people not God, unless you look at it that anything created by people was directly or even indirectly created by God; but that is a completely different debate) we could step into a more loving communal shared society. But putting faith in man and not God is the ultimate evil, paradise promised in time by man, simply giving himself over to the Antichrist.
I had a dream the other night that since we were not taken to Heaven and stuck on earth, science and technology reached such an extreme that we were not able to die here on earth, even if we wanted to. And if we did die, our corpses and psyches could be reconstructed thorough obtained DNA. Graveyards throughout the world would be dug up in order to resurrect those of times past. Man could play God, but we would all be eternal slaves here on earth to the Antichrist rather than in Heaven. Again, by putting faith in man and trying to find a better and more loving shared way of living, we would be tricked into our doom.
I realize so far this is really a jumbled mess and if I had more time I would try and construe it a bit better. And really, what did you expect from a mind that is a jumbled mess?
Homosexuality; contrary to popular belief, the Church does not hate or condemn homosexuals! They just teach that they may not act on their carnal desires and are encouraged to live a celibate life of charity. However, how can you deprive someone of their sexual urge, something as natural as eating and sleeping? It seems cruel and one-dimensional to force homosexuals into a vocation due to their genetic makeup, a vocation that in all other aspects of their life they do not naturally feel called to. I find it more loving to accept those for what sexual preference they are, as homosexuality is not a choice!
Feminism; I believe in gender egalitarianism and am a bit upset by the patriarchal makeup of the Church. I could get the obvious arguments such as only male priests, male altar servers in conservative diocese etc. but instead I am going to point to a simple experience I had. Many times I have visited a particular convent (older retired nuns) and across the street is a seminary, or a home for older retired priests. Can you see where this is going? Take a wild guess. The seminary is like a palace, castle-esque, royal, simply an aesthetic wonder and a place anyone would marvel upon visually and thus be filled with envy. Well maybe that is an extreme reaction but you get the point. The convent on the other hand, is similar in structure to an inner-city hospital, or much like a multi-story nursing home. Although it has its nice areas and well maintained grounds, it is still nothing in comparison. I actually think the convent is how it should be! In a religion that promotes self-sacrifice and charity, how can these retired priests feel good about themselves hiding away in a palace, while 15 miles away (NYC) thousands of people are suffering due to very poor housing and lack of capital. Self sacrifice should continue throughout your entire existence, not just until you retire. I know I am being extremely judgmental of these retired priests as I am sure they have done many wonderful acts throughout their lives and perhaps I am focusing on a negative view, but I see how there is a serious disconnect between ideology and reality.
Anton La Vey used to work at a carnival as an organ player and saw many Christian men ogling and cheating with prostitutes on Saturday, only to find these same men at his other job in the Church on Sunday with their wives and family, silently seeking forgiveness. However the cycle would repeat itself endlessly. This hypocrisy was one of many that caused him to start his hedonistic lifestyle, focusing on the individual, and fulfilling ones own needs and desires without harming each other and upholding basic secular laws within reason. However, he has overlooked the wonders that bringing and sharing oneself to a world greater than oneself can reward. The individual may be important, as we are indeed all regarded as "special" but we are encouraged to share and sacrifice our talents for the sake of others. He has also overlooked the power of unconditional forgiveness and the importance of this idea in bringing peace to oneself and others.
Finally, the ego. Doing what is right naturally brings confidence and strength to the ego. But this in itself should not be the motivation for doing what is right. In fact fulfilling the ego is just fulfilling what Hindus call the ultimate problem, fulfilling desire. There could be many subconscious reasons for fulfilling the ego such as power, control, or even just security. How to bypass this impact becomes a real challenge, but should usually not inhibit one from giving, even if their sole purpose is to obtain mental pleasure from giving. That is not true sacrifice.
I don't know what the future holds but I do know and can feel a battle going on that is greater than ourselves. What path is the correct path? Is there one right way? I will continue to pursue the truth, that of which combining my secular experiences with my moral upbringing even if my morals have shifted a bit. And perhaps that is what is causing this internal turmoil, the uncertainty, the desire to not be deceived. As the Hindus believe, all we really want are to exist eternally, to be all-knowing, and to hold everlasting joy.
More to come...