Sunday, 28 March 2010

Dark Knight of the Soul

India Knight has written an article that is worth analysing, to show the strange way homo sapiens goes about believing what it does. She says:
...there were aspects of Catholicism that I loved, and not only because they made me good at reading religious paintings (this is why RE lessons are so important — never mind God; feel the culture). They were mostly all the things people make fun of and call superstitious: the ceremony, the ritual, the saints, the relics, the Latin, the grace.
A common enough position; she was a believer in belief, rather than a genuine Catholic. An incoherent position, true, but it's clear why she thought that way (look for where she describes her *feelings* about things). She continues:
It is simply not possible, having read the papers or watched the news over the past couple of weeks, to stick with the programme. Like many of my generation, I could hardly be described as a good, or even decent, Catholic, but I’d managed to hang on in there, in the vaguest way imaginable.
Vague because it’s hard to pay lip-service to a faith that you feel hates you; a faith that would rather let you die in childbirth than have an abortion, won’t let you take the contraception necessary to prevent said abortion, hates gay people despite having many homosexual priests; a faith that talks ignorant nonsense about HIV and Aids, that would rather watch people die in Africa than let them use a condom; a faith that is unbelievably slow to say sorry about the fact that some of its members are habitual rapists of children.
What I find faintly incredible about this comment is that, apart from the last item in the list, all these things she has known for, presumably, a long time. The RC cover-up is disgusting, I agree, but seems consistent behaviour for an organisation that considers itself God's representation on Earth (God is right, they teach what God says, therefore they are right, whatever they do). As are all these other abhorrent beliefs! Is this just the straw that broke the camel's back? Is letting women die in childbirth not disgusting enough to persuade Ms Knight?

Apparently not. Even for a plastic Catholic the hooks are in so deep that her religion has to notch up any number of atrocities before she decides to abandon it. This is a signal of the dangers religion poses. No non-religious organisation would be allowed such latitude. If anyone belonged to a secular club or organisation that was guilty of these offences against humanity, they would leave without a second thought, and quite rightly. But consider Sinead O'Connor. She says:
There should be a full criminal investigation of the Catholic hierarchy of any country in which this has been an issue. There should be a full criminal investigation of the Vatican.

There should be a full criminal investigation of the pope.
Well said, and like many a Catholic, her views are admirable on any number of subjects in the political realm. But:
I'm passionately in love and always have been with what I call the Holy Spirit, which I believe the Catholic Church have held hostage and still do hold hostage. I think God needs to be rescued from them. They are not representing Christian values and Christian attitudes. If they were truly Christian, they would've confessed ages ago, and we wouldn't be having to batter the door down and try to get blood from a stone.
(This notion that there is some 'true Christianity' out there, and it just needs to be followed is endemic amongst Christians. But it may be true that there are as many true Christianities as there are Christians. In that circumstance the notion ceases to have any meaning.)

For O'Connor the list of atrocities perpetrated by her Church as listed by Knight are *insufficient* to make her leave it. One wonders what the Church would have to do to alienate such acolytes. Nothing, probably, which is why organisations that engender such unthinking and immutable devotion should be treated with suspicion *on principle*, and why thinking inspired by it (I mean, religious revelation and tradition) should be disallowed in the public sphere.

Because such thinking is ironclad and immune to reason, and thus undemocratic.


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    29 March 2010 at 22:50

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    7 April 2010 at 23:33

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  • Veronica Abbass says:
    9 April 2011 at 03:23

    Hello Mark
    I started reading your blog after meeting you in the comments section of Choice in Dying.

    Thank you for the expression “plastic Catholic,” which I found while reading the post, “Dark Knight of the Soul” March 28, 2010.

    Thanks again for directing me to the Catholic Truth website, more crazy for me to rail against. You may be interested in

  • Mark Jones says:
    3 November 2011 at 02:24

    Terribly sorry, Veronica, if you're still checking here; your comment was put into the spam box, and I only irregularly check it. Many thanks for the link to the blog - some dreadful revelations.

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