Yep I was raised Catholic/Athiest... well.... I had a Catholic mother and a confirmed atheist for a father.
I have alot to say on this subject but I fell too tired to now.
Lets leave the Germans alone.... unless you have lived it. They are certainly NOT the only country who persecuted the Jews in WW2 or at any time in history.... or any other multitude of other religions or countries who have decided that their way is the only way. The holocaust was an evil period of history but not every single Jew is a perfect human either. Do we continually bring up the abuses of the Japanese nation during WW2? Why did the modern west stand back and allow the genocide in Africa? Or still allow it. Why isnt everyone screaming out about the atrocities in the Middle East right now? (Argh! See... I am condensing when I should be explaining more indepth all this stuff... please dont cane me).
Lets leave the Catholics alone. Yes the truth will out on the sex and abuse crimes. And about time too. As with the Jimmy Saville row these people all had "enablers". Both of my parents come in under the worst of the worst of abuse under the "Catholic" umbrella... but they turned out to be loving and caring parents who taught me tolerance.
I am not religious. My mother was. Neither one of my parents held the "institutions" of churches up on a pedestal and made DAMN sure when we had contact with them we were safe (as they werent). But then our early contact was in small outback towns and everyone knew when you sneezed in those places Priest or not!
Mum had 12 children... not because of the Catholic stance on contraception but because the methods at the time were haphazard (and she had a hell of a thing for dad
) She had her last baby the year before "The Pill" was released... boy! Wasnt she shitty about that for ages
though she was so pleased it was going to be an option for her 6 daughters ...and her sons parteners. But then alot of Catholics use contrapection... and have gay sons they love dearly.. etc etc.
But my mother had faith. Funny word "faith". It means exactly what it says. If you doubt it then you dont have faith. She never rammed God down our throats... we just knew that her
God walked alongside her in life. She never talked to us of an evil or vengeful god... she believed those passages of the bible were made up and put there by "the church".
Well she wouldnt have been the first person to pick and choose what parts of the bible you want.
Mum was born into a rich Irish Catholic family. She was born illigitimate. Her mother brought mum home to the station so that she could die of cancer. Mum was 5. They were put in a tin shed near a creek away from the prying eyes of society where this tiny girl nursed her mum to her death when she was 11. And yes it was a local priest who checked on them on occasion to make sure they were still both alive and had some food and who would admonish the relatives in the big house for treating them like animals. Mums mother KNEW mum would go up to the big house when she died and she knew the terrible life mum would have to endure until she was 21 and legally able to leave the relatives. She knew mum would have noone to turn to for help. How helpless she must have felt. So she gave mum "God"... that invisible friend who would always be around to talk to when mum was enduring the worst of the worst from nutters who would hold the bible in one hand and a whip in the other while calling her devil spawn. The only thing that her mother could pass onto her was her faith and mum always said that was what carried her through those terrible years.
And mum survived and ran away on her 21st birthday. She always knew she would survive, she always knew she would escape and that any life would be a better one... and thats what else mum and dad taught us... do what you have to to live... and deal with the other "stuff" later.
The Catholic church (or any church) might seem a bit redundant in a western world but most of their followers are actually in third world countries. Think South America and watch the absolute depth of FAITH that so many people have in their god. Sometimes faith is all some people have to survive one day at a time. We can judge from a higher vantage point but to live it for a lifetime would be a whole other experience.
Like I said... I'm not in any way religious... now. I was once. But then my brother was killed in an accident and I wiped my hands of it. But looking back at that time, we had two amazing priests who came to the house every week to see mum. They werent pedophiles. They were caring priests who saw our family as part of their parish and who dropped in to care for mum and ease her way through her bottomless grief for Brant. They were really down to earth "blokes"... they had to be... ANY religious person who even contemplated knocking on the door of my FATHERS house had to have balls. He hated hated "the church" as such. But he stepped back and let them minister to mum because she was so lost and nothing seemed to ease her heartache for losing her child. See.... tolerance.
Good on the Pope for retiring! I think he is sending a MODERN signal to the rest of the church that it is okay to retire and I hope it sets a precedent. He hasnt done everything right (thats an understatement) but he is not just a Holy Leader he is also the Head of State of the Vatican City. Washington would be hard pushed to match the "politics" of that place! And like most politicians he will be condemned for some of his decrees and praised for others.
I think we presume that as DW fans we all take the same-ish view as TP on religion... and I admit we are a "like" bunch on alot of things. I think thats why this place is so solid.
And yes we debate... its good like that that we can. But sometimes in the heat of debate anyone who has spoken up loudly FOR their faith or their religion has been shot down in flames or "debated" into silence.
I think sometimes we need to let people know that they can voice their faith. Not every Catholic is a fundamentalist. It doesnt mean they cant have their religion. I know priests here in Australia who go out on the streets and hand out condoms to male prostitutes (against all the rules) because they have their parish and see their first duty to their parishioners.
I guess in part what I am saying is that you cant blame all the Germans for what happened "You didnt stop it!" and you cant blame all the Catholic clergy for what happened in the church. Theres good and bad in every society, and if you can speak up about the bad and change it somehow eventually then thats a good thing.
Edit: Ugh! So much for the short version.
Just keep swimming... just keep swimming.. just keep swimming....