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I was thinking today about how I never update this journal anymore,… - Vox Audita Perrit, Literra Scripta Manet.... — LiveJournal
The heard word is lost, the written letter remains...
I was thinking today about how I never update this journal anymore, and when I do, the updates are always short and dull. And the conclusion I came to is that, for reasons unknown to me, I've started holding stuff back about myself. I'm guessing it's because I don't really want to offend/aggravate people on my flist/random passers-by reading it.

And yes, this is ridiculous, because this is my journal and I can say whatever I please in it. So on that note, I'm going to talk about a touchy subject that I've been having problems with lately at uni: religion.

I think I've mentioned before here that I do a religion subject at uni about prophets/seers/visionaries in history (whether it's Judeo-Christian, Islam or secular figures like Nostradamus).

Anyway, there is a woman in my class, Marat. One class a few weeks ago, I arrived early to my lecture. Came into the room, and she was there by herself.

Marat: *looks up from Bible* Hello.
Me: Um, hi. *getting books out*
Marat: Are you Christian?
Me: Uhhh....yes, I'm Catholic.
Marat: Could I sit with you then?

I could hardly say no, though alarm bells were going off in my head as it was. So I ended up sitting with this woman for the twenty minutes before class began, and what I got was quite possibly the worst stream of fundamentalist Christian crap I've ever heard in my life. She labelled anything that wasn't Christian as 'heathen' and had derogatory pencilled remarks all over her Bible about other religions.

Now, I would like to say that just because I'm a Christian who goes to church every Sunday (and is actively involved in church life), that doesn't mean I'm a Bible-basher who attacks anybody who doesn't believe what I do. Quite the contrary, I'm a strong progressive who believes that Christians can learn a lot from other faiths and spiritualities (and in that spirit, I fully push for more inter-faith dialogue to happen). I disagree with quite a few of the church teachings and with the priests at my church, on occasion.

And you may well ask why I became Catholic in the first place, since I wasn't baptised at birth (converted at the age of 16): well, I can attribute it partly to wanting to belong at school (being one of the few sitting in the pews while everyone else went up for communion was a lonely experience) and more or less being indoctrinated into church teachings in religion class. I would imagine that if I went to a Lutheran school, or an Anglican school, I might have easily ended up a member of either of those Christian churches. What was, and is, central to my faith is belief in God and Jesus. All other things are secondary.

Getting back on topic, I tactfully kept my mouth shut, as much as I wanted to say 'No, I don't agree with this stuff you're saying, how can you be so ignorant and narrow-minded?!', and I managed to avoid her from then on, largely by not coming early to class again. But nontheless, Marat makes her presence felt. She constantly interrupts the lecturer with off-topic blanket statements about the subject at hand. And when I say interrupt, I mean interrupt. Ed and Allie, the two lecturers who took the Judeo-Christian part of the course, simply let her do so.

But we've been studying Islam for the past two weeks and our lecturer for this section of the course, Roxane, simply wouldn't let that happen. She manages to shut her up for the most part by raising her voice, but today, it ended up coming to head, so to speak.

See, Marat made a statement along the lines of Muslims converting Christians to Islam 'by the sword' in the Indonesian archipelago(?), implying that Christians are killed every day for not converting to Islam. Most of us laughed in disbelief at this astonishing statement, but Roxane was furious, and she immediately dismissed it. However, Marat kept trying to defend her statement. So, their voices just kept rising until Marat screamed at the lecturer to shut up and then accused her of being a radical Muslim, before walking out of class. Needless to say, it was shocking for all of us, and other students jumped in and defended Roxane before Marat walked out.

I'm personally hoping she won't return next week. She's said quite loudly in the past that she hopes to go to ACU (Australian Catholic Uni) to do her honours next year, because it would be quote 'more religious'.

Excuse me?! I think not. ACU states in its student policy that it promotes cultural and religious diversity. They're not going to tolerate you saying things like 'oh, the Koran? Well, that's all made up, isn't it?', especially if there are Muslim students in the class.

Honestly, I'm ashamed of being Christian sometimes. Fundamentalists make me want to crawl into a corner and pretend I don't exist, because it's their picket lines we see on tv and their rhetoric being spouted by idiots like Bush, and to think that I share the same basic beliefs as them is just awful. That's the image of Christians that the world receives, and I just want everyone to know that they're not all like that, they're really not.

Perhaps there are times when turning the other cheek is required. But the next time I get a Bible-basher asking me questions about my faith and going on about how terrible it is that secularism has taken over the world, I'm honestly going to tell them the truth. That I don't agree with them.

Ha, my hands were shaking like crazy as I was typing this. What am I so nervous about? Perhaps it's that this is the first real rant I've had in a while, and maybe even the first time I've given a genuine piece of my mind on this journal.

Either way, I hope that I can be more open in the future with you lot. It seems unfair to everyone not be myself on my blog when you're all sharing your stuff honestly and openly with me.

Current Mood: contemplative contemplative

11 comments or Leave a comment
vikingcarrot From: vikingcarrot Date: September 15th, 2005 10:43 am (UTC) (Link)
OMG you poor thing. You know there's something wrong when a Christian is being hassled by a bible-thumping type.

Just yesterday I was waiting for a bus in Kelvin Grove and there were two Asian girls there, and one of them sidled up and started asking me personal questions and then launching into the usual bible-thumping tirade. I tried so hard to be polite, but she would not stop, and I ended up shouting at her. I suppose I shouldn't feel guilty since it is her who caused the issue in the first place.

I worry about what might happen if fundamentalists like this Marat woman gain enough power to make society go backwards and as intolerant as they want.
normandie_m From: normandie_m Date: September 15th, 2005 12:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
I worry about what might happen if fundamentalists like this Marat woman gain enough power to make society go backwards and as intolerant as they want.

Me too. It's disconcerting, the revival in fundamentalism that's emerged over the past few years. :/

I did have more of a response than this, but it was cruelly eaten up by lj and I just couldn't be bothered typing it up again. >_< It's been all said before, nontheless.

Hey, do you remember that preacher that used to stand in Adelaide St. in front of King George square? He'd try and address specific people walking past him in the middle of his rants. I think I got a 'Hey pretty lady, I just know you want to hear about the Gospel of our Lord and Saviour...' once from him. o_O
vikingcarrot From: vikingcarrot Date: September 15th, 2005 12:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh yes, that guy. He's still there sometimes.

Then there was the little group, somestimes only one of them, who'd stand at that big intersection close to Central Station, because they knew you'd have to stop and wait for ages for the lights, since when you could walk, you could go to any side of the intersection you wanted.

The ringleader of that group, every time he sees me, he asks me if I'm still a lesbian and a Satanist. omgwtf. Since when was it his business in the first place? He labelled me as both in the first place as well. D:

normandie_m From: normandie_m Date: September 15th, 2005 12:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think I know the guy you're talking about. He's cross-eyed and kinda creepy, right? Or at least, that's one of them. So many unpleasantly familiar faces. -_-;
vikingcarrot From: vikingcarrot Date: September 15th, 2005 12:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
He's pretty old - all the ones on that intersection are, mind. Short darkish-grey hair, a bit stocky in the build. Always trying to flog off pamphlets. Those are the non-denominational Christians who say they just follow the King James version of the Bible, but never actually tell you they're non-denominational. They're very fundamentalist and I hate them with a fiery vengeance. I don't know if he's cross-eyed, I could never look him in the eye because he used to make me feel so angry I'd just stare fixedly somewhere else so I didn't start a fight with him. I never took well to being called a heathen and lesbian and Satanist just because I wear black and continuously refused to take the damn pamphlets. D:

And say - since you're Catholic and active in the church, maybe you can help me on something. I'm looing for a good visual reference for the various Catholic costumes, because I need to know what they look like for my storyverse. You know, like I know mostly what cardinals wear, given that I saw so many of them on telly for the Pope's funeral, but that's like... it. And I'd really like a good reference at the costumes of all the other various ranks and positions of the Catholic church.

Know any resources I could look at, online or off? x_x
normandie_m From: normandie_m Date: September 15th, 2005 12:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
This looks like a pretty good guide for clerical wear.

Most of the pictures are recycled more than once (the one of the bishops with all those pointy mitres scares me a little. o_o), but for the most part, there's little differentiation in what the pope/bishops/priests wear, just give or take a few items and different colours. The site explains those things, anyway.
vikingcarrot From: vikingcarrot Date: September 15th, 2005 12:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Nice - much better than anything else I've dug up - thanks!

Also, do you think you could find me somewhere that'll list out the clerical ranks in their respective orders? I am... clueless. And obviously not very good at searching these things. XD
normandie_m From: normandie_m Date: September 15th, 2005 01:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's no problem at all. As it happens, I'm planning my own original work of fiction about the church and needed to look up these terms myself. I want to see your story when it's finished, though. :)

Wikipedia has a pretty comprehensive guide to the hierarchy. It's a long article, but the basics are in there.
vikingcarrot From: vikingcarrot Date: September 15th, 2005 02:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
omg thank you so much. *bookmarks*

For me, the use is because I have a character who I've made a priest, and I really like Christian symbolism even though I'm not religious - especially Catholic costume and symbolism, because the Roman Catholic church is so extravagant and elegant about it all. I want to worm more religious undertones into my storyverse, and I figure if I'm going to do that, I should make sure I know what it is actually like in the real world before I start twisting it to what I want to do with the world in my storyverse. :D
jazzgoddess From: jazzgoddess Date: September 15th, 2005 12:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for being the type of Christian I wish I could point and say to others "why can't you be more like THAT?"

Please don't take anything I say in my journal personally - it's the type of fundamentalist crap that we both disagree with! I completely and utterly respect anyone who has a true path and who doesn't push their beliefs on anyone else.

normandie_m From: normandie_m Date: September 15th, 2005 12:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
No worries, I understand completely where you're coming from. :)
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