Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Feet firmly planted in quicksand

About the Catholic Church:


Oh, and also:


Well, whether I love it or hate it, it’s a part of me that just won’t go away.

And believe me, I’ve tried! I’ve stopped going to Mass, stopped receiving the Sacraments, stopped praying, stopped believing in everything it teaches (well, except for stuff like not murdering – I’ve never murdered anyone. That I know of).

But it’s still there!

And now I think maybe I shouldn't try to "make it go away" anymore. Maybe it's such an intrinsic part of me that taking it away completely would take away a part of myself*. And I kinda like myself, so I'd hate to do that.

I’ve been back and forth, from atheism to Catholicism and back to atheism. There’s really no middle ground for me – it’s either one or the other.

Oh, I do have a few “way stations” that I recognize, letting me know I’m on the move again. For example, when I’m in my “atheist phase” and my reading matter turns to the supernatural (ghost stories, time travel, etc.), it’s a sure sign that somewhere deep inside, I’m hungerin’ for that Eucharistic banquet in the sky.

And when I’m in my full-blown no-holds-barred “Say It Out Loud I’m Roman Catholic and Proud!” phase, I know I’m in trouble when I start rereading my Andrew Greeley novels and window shopping at The Pleasure Chest.

But I never linger very long at those way stations. I've never really been seriously into the New Age stuff (though I do think there's something to the more serious paranormal studies). I've tried Wicca, Buddhism, Unity, Unitarianism, and other forms of New Age/Christian syncretism, and they're all interesting in their own unique way - but none of them are "me" in the same way that Catholicism is.

And it has to be traditional Catholicism. I don't mean the SSPX, OK? Not that traditional! But try as I might, I can't stand liberal Catholicism for very long either. I mean, it's OK (and Father Greeley is a helluva writer), but let's face it - their liturgies stink!.

So it's Catholic or nothing for me. There just doesn’t seem to be any middle ground, which kinda worries me sometimes.

One bright spot, though (at least I think it’s a bright spot) – I don’t THINK I’m one of those obnoxious fundamentalists (either atheist or theist) who insists that “my way is the only way”. I try not to be, anyway. Especially since I know how capricious those “winds of change” are in my own life.

How can I possibly stand in judgment of anyone else when I’m not even sure where I’m standing right now?

(*of course, that's the same philosophy that keeps me from losing weight. ;-) )

Next: Flirting with the East, and with Steve P.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Is it curtains for my atheism?

I felt the need to create this blog because, quite honestly, I don’t think anyone will read it.

Let me rephrase that, so as not to sound too cynical.

I KNOW no one will read it. There, that’s better!

Anyway, I’m on (self-imposed) leave from IIDB where I have served as a moderator for several months now. I’ve enjoyed my time there and the people are great. But I may not be able to stay there much longer, even after my exile ends. Or if I do, I’ll just moderate and post in the “fun” sections (like the Lounge) and not in the “upper fora”.

Mainly because I feel myself slip-slidin’ towards Christianity again (specifically Catholicism), and folks at IIDB don’t take too kindly to that sorta thing.

But it’s not really something I have a lot of control over. Oh wait, let me rephrase that. I *do* have control over it, in the sense that it’s the end result of the books I’ve been reading during the last several months. I’ve been reading about EVPs and reincarnation, not the silly New Age stuff I was never attracted to (Shirley Maclaine? great actress, should stick to that), but sensible, rational people who have had experiences they can’t explain.

And I do think there is “something out there”, and once I start believing in the possibility of ANYTHING supernatural, it’s not that hard to believe in the supernatural religion I’m so thoroughly indoctrinated in – Catholicism.*

Now I myself have never experienced anything even remotely supernatural. The closest I came was when I was in college and I lit some candles in front of my window on All Hallows Eve, then went for a walk in the commons, then looked back towards my window and saw that I’d set the curtains on fire. It was supposed to set my SOUL on fire, but didn’t quite work.

But – I have read a few books lately which made me wonder. So as I said, once I start wondering, it’s like a switch inside my brain gets flipped – from “atheist” to “theist” – and it’s just a matter of time before I go back to confession.

More on that next time.

(* Not that there’s anything wrong with that, per se – it’s a lovely faith and there is much to say in favor of it. But I do have some problems with it, which I’ll get to in a later entry.)

Next: Feet firmly planted in quicksand

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Dragged back kicking and screaming

This is my new blog, to discuss the reasons why I may move from my reluctant atheism even more reluctantly back into theism, and perhaps even Christianity.

To give you some background, I was born and raised a Roman Catholic. I've deconverted and reconverted several times in my life. The last two times I made the mistake of proclaming my newfound beliefs - or lack thereof - on the Internet.

So all my prior proud statements that I'd finally Found the Truth are waiting out there to bite me on the ass.

During my most recent period of sort-of-atheism I even managed to become a moderator on an atheist website's discussion forums! They're good people there for the most part, but I've decided to take a break so I can think about these things without worrying, "What will "Biff the Sarcastic" say about my leanings towards theism?"

I think I tend to worry too much about what other people will think. That's pretty much the history of my conversions/reconversions/deconversions - I'm afraid to just say what I think and damn the torpedos or guilt trips that ensue.

And lest anyone think I'm attacking atheists, I'm not - there are definitely theist versions of Biff the Sarcastic out there, who salivate at the slightest hint of perceived heresy. I've provided a lot of raw meat for the Biffs out there!

And here I go again - just letting it all hang out, here on the Internet for everyone to read. Though given the low hit count on my other blogs, I'm not too worried.

Next: Is it curtains for my atheism?