"No good can ever come to a person by rejecting them." Thus, assholedom is merely the instigator in a spiral of perpetual rejection. No, people are healed by loving, forgiving and accepting them.
After the mass, Dad was packing up his guitar for half an hour. Seriously, that’s pretty much what he did, for 30 minutes straight. I had a chat with Father Steve that went something like this.
Me: God planned everything, no?
Fr. Steve: Yes.
Me: Does that include the fall of Lucifer?
Steve was quick to correct himself.
Fr. Steve: God knows everything.
The conversation rambled on about choice for a bit- how God doesn’t intervene.
Me: Why didn’t God create humans to be perfect? (God was such a great architect, why would he design us with flaws?)
Fr. Steve: Because then we wouldn’t have a purpose. (We’d just be puppets.)
Me: So why did God create humans?
Fr. Steve: To love and worship him.
Me: Sounds to me like God got a little bit lonely and created people to love him.
Fr. Steve: God wasn’t lonely (Me: Of course not.). [Bit of a ramble…] Angels and humans were given choice.
Father Steve, like Mr Martinskis (last year’s religious education teacher), believes hell is the absence of God, for all eternity. The body withers, the soul lives. If our soul i s disconnected from all goodness, what kind of torture does eternity appear to be? Fair dinkum, sounds about right. Also, he personally doesn’t believe the devil exists. Lucifer, being one of God’s top dogs, would have known he wouldn’t stand a chance against the Big Man. Why would he try? (I thought back to Murder Mysteries- maybe Lucifer had to try, for justice’s sake.) Thus, "Satan" does not exist. Evil might exist (seeing as possession can generally be explained scientifically) but certainly not in the form of a red man with a pitchfork. Overall, the conversation wasn’t very reassuring. For example, now that God isn’t intervening (as we run ourselves to destruction- will he only step in at the last moment to send half of us to hell and bring half of us into his Kingdom?), what are miracles?
I haven’t stopped caring about the poor and hungry and suffering, but I can no longer pray for them. I cannot pray to a God who will not help or intervene in any way. I cannot devote myself to a God who will wait for people to die so he can tell them that he has always loved them, especially since they suffered piously.
Stevie also said the questions I were asking had very theological answers, and I’m almost ashamed to say I don’t know (nor care) what that means. What it meant was (and he said this) that there was no complete answer- everything he said would have holes in it. I guess religion is largely about taking a stab at what you think is right, then believing in it and hoping that when you die you get your reward.
Annoyingly, on the way home, Dad tried to give me the same talk, but he’s old and bigoted. He’s old, which means he clings to religion because it’s all he has left (call me a bastard if you must. I probably deserve it) and he preaches about it to everyone to gain God’s favour and spread his enlightenment. It infuriates me- he tells people what to believe, and that really bothers me. Overall, my opinion of Christianity is continuing to decline. I don’t think I’ll go back to church, but I’m not going to abandon religion entirely and become a derelict heathen, but I can’t continue to pray just yet. And also there’s the understanding of Jesus Christ- who was he really, and what was his message? He was important- a lot of people seem to think so. On that note, why is Jesus more famous than other prophets who also claim to be divine? Anyway, once you ignore the bible’s bias (especially in the selection of the gospels) who was the real JC? Blake had some interesting ideas, I must develop my own.