Friday, 15 July 2016

Me and religion

*Photo was taken in November 2015, whilst visiting Marseille. This is in the Notre Dame de la Garde*

Given the recent events in the world, I have been thinking a lot and getting a lot of comments about a certain thing: Religion. I'm going to clear about this subject and this is quite hard to write, because I know some people will judge me because of it. Mock me. Unfriend me. Disrespect me. Some people would advise against writing this blogpost, because I've had a difficult time lately. But I'm just going to say this: I'm a Catholic.
I was born in a part of the Netherlands were there more Catholics than Protestants. The Protestants are in the majority in the Netherlands, but in the south 'we' are in the majority. Enough with the whole demographic shizzle.
I'm a child of a Roman Catholic father and a Anglican mother, which has lead to funny procedures when my parents wanted to marry in a Catholic church. But that's a story for another time, I suppose.

I have been baptised, received my first communion, confirmation and have been quite active within the youth movement in my region. I hear you thinking. How is this even possible? How do you even do it? And yet you are such an intelligent lad?

I realise that I'm a religious person, above average. I realise that I'm one the few percentages of our generation who does go to church on a regular basis and does find comfort in it all.

The reason why I don't talk about it is that people have a judgement about religion and I think this has only grown stronger throughout the past two years. I'm proud to be catholic, but I dont despise other religions. On the contrary. I've a lot of respect for other religions and I see no reason why I shouldn't surround myself with friends from other religions. I think that's stupid. I also have friends who are deists or atheists and we get along just the same. That's great!

Which I find particularly hard is the way people react to me being religious. 'You are stupid. Science has proven everything so therefore you are nuts.' Let me tell you that religion does change with time. Not everyone changes and not all of the religion changes, but it's plain stupid to think that the current era doesn't have his influence on religion.

Religion doesn't destroy everything. It's the people who do things in the name of their god. Actions of individuals or groups can give this reputation, I agree. I also agree that it's more likely to happen to those that have a religion. But what I want to say, is that not every muslim is bad because of the attacks. Hate doesn't solve anything. Hate corrupts the soul.

If you find comfort in praying, pray. If you don't, don't. I respect my fellow religious friends. I respect my friends who don't believe. I have so much love to give to both. I suggest we start spreading the love.

Marc





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5 comments

  1. I am Christened, Church of England, however I have never been a practiced Christian. Although I do not take part in any religious practices, and never have, I do enjoy experiencing the culture that comes from religion. Every single new city that I go to I ALWAYS find the largest church and spend the day there. What I don't think many people realize is that religion in human history has always been the forefront of society; it's where you can find our earliest art and treasures. When I was in Maastricht I visited the Cathedral (I use this word before I can't think of the name), and saw many beautiful old artefacts. I did the same when I went to Japan, the religious temples and shrines were some of the oldest buildings there, and architecturally beautiful. Religion is rich and stands the test of time, unlike most of historical society. There are many good life lessons to be learnt from all religions, I have friends who are Catholic, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, and all give me good life lessons on family life and general outlook.

    As a self titled 'atheist' I think religion is so important to the mass of humanity. Life is hard, complicated, and overwhelming; the belief that there must be more to life is one that every single person feels, and this is where religion fills this space, as a comfort, for many who struggle to get through their life.

    You should never be made to feel afraid to voice your beliefs, and I'm glad that you find comfort in your faith. I wish I could find it too, and hope that one day I can come to terms with my own ideas of faith.

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  2. Oh and I also wanted to add that when I went to Rome, I also visited The Vatican. Not many people understood this as I am not a Catholic, I am an Anglican. However, I just wanted to be surrounded by people who believe in something bigger than all of us, and who believe in the good of humanity. I remember walking through The Vatican Museum as an 18 year old History student and CRYING, physically crying at the wealth of their historic. I was seeing the names of the best artists in history all around me, right there with my own eyes. The most beautiful ornate biblical manuscripts, created before writing had even reached some parts of the Western world. Oh, what a time I had at The Vatican! I left so inspired and so full of awe, but also jealous that those around me found peace there that would last them a lifetime, not just for the time that they were there. So yeah... part 2 of essay over.

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    1. Thank you for your 'essay' haha! But in all seriousness though, I love the way you look at life and how you approach it. Religion is a important thing in our lives, doesn't matter if you believe or not. Our cultures are mostly shaped because of religion and there's so much cultural heritage to be found because of it. I'm dying to go to Japan, Vanessa. Please tell me all about it when we meet, because well. It seems like something that would appeal to me very much! I'm glad that despite our different upbringings we get along quite well and have respect for each other. Keep it real buddy!

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  3. Thank you for sharing this! I identify quite a lot with much of what you said. I myself am a young proud Catholic. The major religion in my country is a mix of Protestant Christian & Non-denomination believers, similar to you where I live there is a strong Catholic population. Form a young age I have had to face many people who challenge my religion but instead of abandoning my faith it only made it stronger. I am a devote Catholic & people seem to expect me to me confrontational with non-believers or people of other religion they get taken a back when I am being respectful & curious about it. I actually happen to love religions, even consider to major in Religious Studies at one point because I value the importance & necessity of it we as humans have.

    The times we are facing are hard & dark it is sad that people turn on religion. I like what you said about it is not the religion but the people & I couldn't agree more. There is a dark side to all religions, even in ours but the thing is that religions are made of people we as humans are flawed & when the wrong people act radically & create chain reactions within the religion that cause what we have going on today.

    I have my faith strong & hope the world will be a better place in the future. Once again thank you for sharing, I have been wanting to start writing about religion & my faith on my own blog, you have just inspire me even more. It s the first post I read of yours, I am seeing something of Krakow did you attend World Youth Day, my friends are just coming back from over there, but I saw it all on TV. I am also getting ready for Panama 2019. Once again thank you for sharing.

    - Celeste

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    1. I'm really happy you commented to be honest. It's my first encounter with someone who's open about her/his religion. My parents have been very free in our upbringing and gave us the space to make our own decision. I have always been attracted to religion and my attractions has developed into being a proud catholic.

      I'm not really open about it because I've been judged a lot about and also because we live in a society where are generation doesn't value religion in the way we do, I suppose. I think it's a very comforting thing that I know that you think alike and I'm glad we possibly could talk about this :)

      I'm far from perfect and I've a lot flaws. Sins are part of life too, but I try to life as devout as possible. I think I'm just finding the balance between religion and contemporary life, but I'm getting there with steps. To be honest I was on holiday with my friends (who are basically atheists) in Krakow. I really enjoyed talking to people who were there for the WYD and I had some very interesting conversations, which made me regret that I wasn't there for a longer period. Thank you so much for commenting and I hope that my way of religion hasn't put you off, but I'm finding myself :)

      I will probably talk about my way of believing more often now and I'm glad to say that you have inspired me as well!

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