Jewelle's post about being a lukewarm Catholic inspired me to blog about some "issues" I have with the Catholic Church. Before I start, I should say that I am practising Catholic, and my intention is not to attack the Catholic Church in any way. I can only really talk about Catholicism because I know it intimately, but I am sure that these issues apply to other religions too.
When I was a teenager, it seemed that the church youth leaders would spend a lot of time emphasising things like: no sex outside marriage, no birth control, sex is for procreation and not for pleasure (what???hahaha). Although they had my best interests at heart, it left me with the lasting impression that the "worst" sins were the "sex" sins.
Now that I am older, I wonder why was it given so much emphasis? Is going too far with your boyfriend/girlfriend really that bad? I should explain....
Take for example, Gluttony, i.e. overindulgence with food and drink, which is supposed to be a sin too. But I have never heard a priest or church leader saying that it is sinful to eat too much, that all-you-can-eat-buffets are the devil's temptation or that all fat people are going to Hell. If you really think about it, and how many people don't have enough to eat in this world while we stuff our faces - it is a sin. Consider this - some people in this world have so much to eat that they are constantly trying to diet and lose weight (including me), spending money on diet products, anti-cholesterol medication, gym memberships and plastic surgery. While their maid's family may only eat one meal a day because they have no money to buy food. Don't you think that is a sin??? When you can spend $50 on a meal, but then give your amah a $5 annual pay rise (or no pay rise at all!)
(And before you say - I deserve it because I work so hard, I'm clever etc - isn't Pride a sin too? All blessings come from the Lord, right?)
And what about the sin of Greed? Are people who drive luxury cars going to Hell? If they drove a cheap car, they could give US$50,000 to charity. Just think that one billion people live on less than US$1 a day. I guess I shouldn't be surprised when even the Pope wears Prada shoes! What?? How can he??? When he tells the poorest people in the world that it is wrong to practise birth control? Is this crazy, or am I crazy?
So I guess my question is - why are young Catholics taught that it's wrong to live together without marriage, but nobody talks about how wrong it is to be an obese, bad-tempered, Mercedes-driving, granny-swindling millionaire? Well? What's the answer?
I'm not trying to be some kind of goody-two-shoes, as if I give all my money to charity and live on two beansprouts a day. I want a big big house and to have lots and lots of money. But hey, that's OK right? As long as I don't do the birth control thing? :)