Monday, April 13, 2009

Couldn't be religion more a way to help each other?

I’m an agnostic.

Why is this important? Because I’m about to explain why after this last Lent and Holy Week (Semana Santa in Mexico) I feel like a stranger to the religion my parents tried to teach me and that is dominant in my country: Catholicism.

I find some things in the this religion I was grown up to believe was the best in the world (now I know there are other way of thinking) absurd, to say the least. I found silly, for example, the tradition to stop eating meat as a sacrifice for God, because most of Catholic people stops eating meat and they start eating fish (at least here in Mexico), but they turn this ritual into a treat, because they go to restaurants or cook special dishes for the whole family.

Also, before Lent, the Vatican asked Catholics to stop sending text messages or being in Internet as a way of sacrifice. Really? Is this really meaningful?

Texting on a keyboard phoneImage via Wikipedia

Wouldn’t it be better, instead of offering something as pointless as this, to do something for someone else? How about to be a voluntary in some institution, let’s say, an orphanage, a food bank, a nursing home every weekend during Lent? Or, if you can’t do this because you work night and day, giving some big donation to a charity? How about that?

I’m not against religion, I’m against those actions that become meaningless when we repeat and repeat the same thing over and over without thinking in other human beings. In contrast, on Thanksgiving, Obama and his family went to a food bank and gave some of their time to those less fortunate than them. Isn’t this better? I do believe so.

I wish religion would be a way to help people form bonds between each other, not to separate them or make them do rituals that don’t take you anywhere.

(P.S. Oh, and I’m writing this in English and in this blog because, among other things, some Catholic in Mexico take way too serious any “criticism” –actually, I see this as a proposal- to their customs. I think people from other countries and other cultures are more open-minded).

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