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Recoveringchristian


Member

Posted Sun Dec 23rd, 2012 3:25pm Post subject: Off my chest

Hi Stephen
I was born into a devout catholic family, in the Republic of Ireland, in 1960. This was a time in Ireland where priests read the names of their congregation from the altar. Not for any good deeds they may have done but for not "paying their dues". My father(alcoholic and religious zealot) and mother(hard working catholic) brought five of us up, in a working class enclave in Cork.
By the time I reached the age of fifteen, I no longer believed in "God", his church and most especially his representitives. I finished school at the age of sixteen, by which time I no longer believed in any organised religion, whatsoever. Consequently, I stopped attending Church at this time. This was seen in my family as an act of madness although I must say not by either of my parents.
I have been a devout atheist since that time and have tried hard to be a good human being, using my own moral judgement to guide my decision making. Our own Brendan Behan said they were only two types of people "patients and nurses". I try to be a nurse!
As a father and grandfather, I have no wish whatsoever to push, coerce, bully or threaten my children or anyone else, into a life they would not choose for themselves. I am constantly amazed at peoples obsession with other peoples business. I couldn't care less what consenting adults do with their genitalia, money, time or ideas. I do however have a great deal of anger for the organisers of all religions matched only by the pity I feel for their followers. Haven't we already discovered that master/slave relationships are unhealthy at best? Who would be happy to let any of their offspring live in an abusive relationship? The relationship with religion must be lunacy. People engaged in an abusive relationship with an imaginary master. Subjugating themselves to other worldly forces, in the hope that a life of misery will lead to everlasting happiness. A notion which in itself is nauseating but as an achievement, terrifying.
The various sado/masochistic hobbies that go with religion are almost comical. Fasting,circumcision,self-flagellation, walking on coals etc. I have never knowingly harmed anyone. Not because I'm afraid of eternal damnation but because I don't want to be a cunt.
It is entirely possible and totally desirable to live a decent, moral existance, in harmony with all around, without having to think about religion.
If I could wish for anything for the new year it would be that humankind would become more humane.
I'm a long time admirer and fan of you and some of your friends. One in particular brings tears to my eyes every time I think of him and his courage, clarity and pursuit of truth. I never met him but a poorer world it is without him. I felt a kindred spirit and have never disagreed with one word he said. My apocalypse happened on Dec 15th 2011.

Slán a chara.


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Rose


Member

Posted Mon Dec 24th, 2012 9:09am Post subject: Off my chest

RIP Christopher Hitchens


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joan


Member

Posted Thu Dec 27th, 2012 10:46pm Post subject: Off my chest

I was given Mary Robinson's autobiography for Christmas: Mary Robinson: Everybody Matters ISBN 978-1-444-72332-8

Born 1944, she also saw through fundamentalist catholicism from an early age, even though her own experience was good - middle class parents, great childhood etc. She highlights the appalling injustices in Ireland's law, especially the fact there was often little distinction between 'sin' and crime'. She stopped going to mass and fought for contraceptive rights quite early - got nowhere of course. As in all repressive regimes, there were sneaky ways round some laws. For instance, the contraceptive pill was allowed to regulate the cycle of women with irregular periods, so she laughed about the fact there must be something in the winds of Ireland that make so very many women 'irregular'.

Anyway, I've only got to page 109 of 329, but I can recommend it.

I miss old Hitchens too: fearless and true to his self to the end.


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Rose


Member

Posted Fri Dec 28th, 2012 8:40am Post subject: Off my chest

I'm going to add that to my 'must read list'


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Recoveringchristian


Member

Posted Sat Dec 29th, 2012 6:16pm Post subject: Off my chest

I suppose it is difficult for anyone living outside of Ireland to fully appreciate, the stranglehold catholicism had/has on the country. For many years, having a priest in the family, was a reason to be proud and oft quoted by mothers " my son..the priest" as a social bat wielding.
Mary Robinson is one of the great Irish people of this and the last century. She became Irelands first female president in 1990. The office is largely ceremonial but Mary exploited one of its duties (representitive in foreign affairs) to the fullest. She raised the profile of the office and used her background in human rights to highlight local and international injustice. She is an articulate, intelligent and humane person. Socially concerned and moves easily with kings and commoners. Much loved and admired in Ireland, a rennaisance woman, and true advocate. I am as proud of her as I am of Joyce, Wilde, Shaw, Heaney etc....
Mary was followed into office by Mary McAleese. Her time in office finished in 2011. Equally courageous, her campaigns for gay rights, social equality and anti sectarianism are well documented as is her railing against the catholic church's disgusting silence during the investigations into child abuse. If I could recommend her book Quo Vadis to you, I'm sure you will enjoy and profit from the reading.
Following the death of Savita Hallapanavar recently,http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/frontpage/2012/1114/1224326575203.html the law on abortion in Ireland is again coming under the spotlight. The bishops have already started their interference....


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joan


Member

Posted Sun Dec 30th, 2012 2:54am Post subject: Off my chest

Well, her book has certainly shown me how catholicism ruled Ireland. I'm just a year younger than Mary Robinson, but grew up in England with many more freedoms that she had. She certainly is a wonderful woman. I remember quoting her in an essay I did on international politics when I was doing a late-in-life university degree. She always made complete sense. She always tried to do the right thing, and unlike many, she usually succeeded.

Wish we could clone her.


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