I’m going to get serious for a little bit. Serious because this is what this topic usually mandates. Some or most people, don’t like talking about religion because we want to avoid an argument or a confrontation. And they are usually right, religion is one of those topics that can sometimes get out of hand and it (almost always) leave everyone unsure or alienated. I promise you, that this is not my intention. Sometimes my blog is a house for my own personal feelings that I’m either too scared to really address and this is the closest I can get or a place where I can be as loud as I want without the real fear of being told to shut up.
I don’t know if I have mentioned this before, but I am Catholic. I was baptized as an infant and all my documents indicate that I am Roman Catholic. Being Catholic means – and is not limited to (and as I understand it) – going to church on Sundays, reading the Bible, The Holy Trinity, Holy Rosary, sign of the cross, The Pope, alms giving, and a smathering of others. I was raised to believe in all of these things and to believe that they are the source of all that is good in the world and to not believe in them or not do them is a sin, which will result to me burning in hell. As a child, who has seen pictures depicting this scenario, I was scared shitless of the idea of going to hell.
I even went to a Catholic school for the first 3 years of elementary school. Not that it matters. I don’t know if that helped the cause or not. All I really remember is that Nuns that are also teachers are scary. Far scarier than the idea of hell. They wear seemingly uncomfortable shoes and beat your open faced palm with a stick. As a child, this is what Catholicism is to me. Good begets good. Bad begets bad.
I moved out of my parents (who are very devote Catholics – or at least I think so) home when I was 17. Besides not having to worry about a curfew it also means I don’t have to go to church if I don’t want to. As a 17-year-old who was slowly trying to figure college out, religion was set aside in a corner along with all my dust filled stuffed animals that I brought along to remind me of home. Turns out, I didn’t want to be reminded of home – wherever that is and especially of High School.
College to me was my way of breaking out and exposing the “real me”. Finally, I am free to be as obnoxious as I want without the worry that my parents will be disappointed in me. I am free to dye my hair pink. I am free to decide whether I want religion or not.
At first I felt guilty. Whenever someone would ask me, very casually, what my religion is/was, I would take a beat before saying I’m Catholic. Not that I was embarrassed of the religion, I was embarrassed to associate myself with a religion I don’t even practice. I take the idea of being in a religion very seriously.
I don’t know why I feel suddenly inclined to write about all of this. It’s not that I’m trying to seek an intervention or some sort of validation that what I’m feeling is normal. All I know is that I am not always right and I am also not wrong when it comes to religion.
Being able to practice Catholicism in a Muslim country can do that to you. In this country, people are allowed to be whoever they want to be, and I am living in the Middle East. And it gives me the sense of feeling that maybe I should be more open minded about what others feel, not only about their religion but also about their culture and background.
Maybe this post doesn’t make any sense to you. But I suddenly feel better than I was 5 minutes ago.