Lesson # 2: From the Church
I was sitting on the pew, ready to take in and receive my easter message and blessing. All was good and well, the homily started with the messages of love and sacrifice. I was intent to listen and take in everything that I could. That is until our parish priest went on attack mode and talked about the supporters of the RH bill – about how these people were acting like God (nagpapaka-“Diyos”) and that they all Sin as they support the “killing” of lives and how they were “unworthy”.
Up until that point I absorbed every single word and felt that indeed, I was unworthy of God’s blessing, much more his body and blood.
I quietly stepped out of the Church and just listened right outside the giant church doors.
The priest went on to attack more than just the RH bill supporters, he also lamented the politicians, the government leaders and so much more. [Later on, I find that this was the Church’s theme for Easter.] [Not so long ago, this happened.]
[If you want to know about the RH bill, you can see it here.]
Now this is the part where I will say that this entry is not going to be an attack on the Church per se but rather on the whole societal structure that exists and perpetuates such discord among us. (But I am to use the Church in some examples as well)
Nor will this entry be an argument in favor of the RH bill. I will leave that to the experts.
I’d like to call this phenomenon the SPONGE EFFECT. I call it as it is because that’s how we we were taught to be – like sponges. We were trained to absorb every word, every lesson, every tradition and we were (and still are) expected to think, breathe and act in certain ways that those around us determine.
From the moment we were born, it has been this way. Norms and standards and rules have been set. Deviate from the norm and you suffer so much ignominy by being branded as deviants, criminals and sinners. You become outcasts, rebels, and are threatened with excommunication, humiliation and even death. Such an effective tool to prevent others from doing so, yes?
Let’s look at it on a micro-level. Our parents tell us what to do, how to do things, how to act, what to wear, what to say, what not to say, who to date, who to love, who to marry and everything else. We can’t fault them for that though because that’s how they were raised to be, and that’s how our grandparents were raised to be and so on and so forth. In short, we do what they say lest we be grounded, spanked or worse, disowned. (Harsh but true)
Take a look at school. Lesson after lesson of being told how things were, how things are and how things should be. We do what they say lest we fail and be kicked out. We wouldn’t want that now, would we?
Take a look at the media and how they influence how the people think. How successful they’ve been in creating the mindset that all it takes is one game show to save our lives and end this poverty. How they brainwash nations and cultures about others so much so that it creates a much bigger divide.
There are so many external factors that influence how we behave as individuals. While of course we ought to take stands and make choices in our lives, what really bothered me and brought about this entry is how I see people take things, even the crappiest arguments, matter-of-factly. They just absorb. They never filter – they just take in whatever comes their way.
You see, I’d like to just ABSORB everything for convenience’s sake. Just so that everybody would be happy. But I can’t and I won’t.
All our lives, we’ve been told what to do and how to do things. Doesn’t that bother you?
Haven’t you thought that maybe, just maybe, we were taught wrong?
or that the message has been lost in translation already? (Think of the game “Pass the Message”… If 8 people can get a single sentence wrong just by passing the message, what more if the message goes through billions of people and hundreds of generations)
Haven’t you thought that you could create your own identity and culture?
Today, had I been the SPONGE that this society wanted me to be, I’d have flagellated myself for supporting the RH bill, I’d have ignored the fact that “the Church of the poor”, is mostly for the rich (see, even Priests have cars), and I would’ve done so many things and believed so many things without question not just from the church, but even from my family, my school and everything else.
We were made to think and tread a path of our own – not to simply absorb and follow the paths that others have taken.
We were gifted with reason. All we have to do is put it to good use.
(INSERT NEEDLESS RANT HERE: From the inspiration of this entry alone, I just couldn’t take being branded as “unworthy” of my God just because I believed in something that our priests don’t. From the profession of faith alone, “I believe in God, the father almighty”… “I believe in Jesus Christ, his only son – our Lord”… Can’t say the same for the Catholic Church. Sorry.)
Sorry if I offended anyone with this entry, especially the devout Catholics. Again, this is only my opinion. You are free to have yours.🙂