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Monday, May 23, 2011

An Argument Against The Eucharist


I recently got back from a graduation service of Mass at my girlfriend's Catholic university. Being a proud, Jew-ish guy I was mildly uncomfortable with all the references to John 14:6, the pro-life/anti-choice rhetoric, and mildly condescending descriptions of poor people, who the Bishop called, at one point, "the least of God's children." (Really? Damn, that's cold.)

[But mostly I was uncomfortable with John 14:6.]

Don't get me wrong though: I believe everyone has a right to their religion, as long as it doesn't infringe upon the rights or freedoms of anyone else, or break any laws, but... iunno. Something just didn't sit well with me about the whole shebang.

Okay, let me explain.

During [The Eucharist], bread and wine are consecrated in the name of Jesus, blessed, and then apparently undergo a process known as [transubstantiation] whereby the bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ. Catholics believe this. Many of them literally. As in they literally believe in magic.

Many of the people I watched from my high seat at the back of the stadium sincerely believed that the unleavened bread (crackers, basically) and the shitty-wine (probably two buck Chuck) they were ingesting was the flesh and blood of Geebus P Cryst. I mean Hey-Zeus. That guy.

Anyways. What made me uncomfortable was the thought that: if the bread and wine really do become the body and blood of Jesus, then these people are cannibals. Actually, they are necro-cannibals. They eat the flesh and drink the blood of the dead. And that is just creepy. (At least in America, where such things are also illegal!)


However, if the bread and wine don't become the body and blood -- and thus these people aren't cannibals -- then doesn't that invalidate a fundamental part of their faith? And thus doesn't it mean -- gasp! -- that their entire religion may be based on mere superstition and dogma?

Such questions are what get me in trouble. Mostly because I can't keep my mouth shut when they pop into my head.

Seriously though! Maybe it's because I'm so used to being a religious outsider in this country, but such contradictions and strange characteristics of Christianity never cease to confuse me, or surprise me with the lack of questioning people regard them with. Call me a skeptic or heretic, but I can't imagine that those crackers and grape-juice are really the flesh OR blood from some long-dead hippie Jewish brother of mine; and I also can't imagine that those people are really cannibals, or can even conceptualize how other people could view them as such.

But so it goes. People believe far stranger things than religion these days. [Like this.]

Cheers


P.S. The Catholics out here are kinda whore-ish. It was a graduation mass, and yet all the ladies under 30 were dressed either as twelve-year olds (forgetting that they're not and keeping the same size sun-dresses) or they're dressed like their going to the club, complete with mini-skirts and hooker-heels. I literally saw more bare flesh at this religious service than a day at the beach during an Orange County summer. Not I'm complaining you understand; just noticing.

7 footnotes:

Mira said...

Um... What does John 14:6 say?

From my (Orthodox Christian) POV, Catholics- and Protestants, for that matter, often take Bible literally. (Or so it seems)

Zek J Evets said...

Mira,

If you check the link, you'll see what it says, which is: Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

Literalism is often just as bad as Fundamentalism, only more subversive.

lifeexplorerdiscovery said...

Religious contradictions...one of the many reasons I became agnostic.

I didn't grow up catholic but in a conservative Pentecostal church (which is oddly anti-catholic)but the same kind of stuff happens such as the whole bread and wine thing.

It is interesting how many contradictions and hypocrisies exist from the Bible, to the actual congregation. For instance, everyone says that the NT forgives all actions, yet uses the rules of the OT on issues such as pro-life, homosexuality, and etc but technically, wouldn't the NT invalidate the OT?

Its funny you mention the clothing thing, because at the church I used to get dragged to, I swear everyone dressed as if it was some kind of fashion show.

I wouldn't say I have completely stopped believing and part of me believes there is some kind of higher power, but because of all the indoctrination put in me as a kid, I've got alot to figure out. All I know is that I am not an apostolic (pentecostal) christian, and never will be again.

Zek J Evets said...

lifeexplorediscovery,

I'm not agnostic myself. But I could be construed as a "lapsed" Jew. Religion often confuses me, sometimes to the point of being uncomfortable, but also sometimes it makes me wonderfully amused.

The NT/OT thing is probably the former. And it's especially interesting because Jews believe in only the OT, yet we rarely engage in the vitriolic that many Christians who use the OT do, especially on the scale they do, despite the fact that we're both reading the same book obsessively.

Bleh, honestly it just makes me want to wash my mouth out.

Ryan said...

ZEK...you ramble my friend...there is no new thought, no new thing under the sun...you think and think and think, all the while thinking that your thinking is getting you somewhere...

All new thoughts are old thoughts; all the questions that you pose arise from the answers that are already there (in your head...programmed by circumstance and time)...there is no room for anything NEW…everything you observe is filtered through a very dense screen of information that is already their in you head…you are constantly reinterpreting, reanalyzing and reformatting the OLD…your thoughts are the cumulative thoughts of all of mankind…there is nothing new after that…opinions are like assholes, etc., etc….you catch my drift?

All of this rambling is excessive and indulgent...BORING even…ACTION should be the order of the day...
You seem disgruntled...you really don't want people to know that about you because they might assume that you have had a lot of hard-knocks...people who live a smoother life don't seem to complain and rant with such fervor...nor do they pretend to have the answers or to really know much of anything at all…and women do not find this sexy unless you are incredibly good-looking...then they can push it aside…for awhile.

I think you need a different strategy and I would be happy to help...another thing to keep in mind is that specialization allows you to master CRAFT and craft is useful...for example, I like to paint and sing (chicks dig that more than my mind)…I think you jump around too much in a rather haphazard, neurotic manner...FOCUS is also incredibly sexy to women, depending where that focus is aimed...if it is misplaced, you are in trouble…
I must assume you are writing all of this because you want to appear to be very intelligent in hopes that when someone comes upon your musings that they will appreciate your uncanny genius…I can assure you that there are better strategies to attracting a woman (however, if it is a man that you are trying to attract, you may have the perfect strategy)...

You do realize that everything we DO, all effort expended is a rather futile attempt to feel as though we are not ALONE…ultimately motivated by innate desire to ATTRACT...relationship is what I am referring to…and knowledge is power, CORRECT? It attracts! But usually because it means that you might have some INFLUENCE and that is often seen as SEXY. If you appear to be more knowledgeable than the next guy then you might just be SEXIER then the next guy…

Anyway, I hope that all this silliness, much like the silliness in my very own journals, transforms into something useful for you…in the meantime, you must understand, (assuming that women are your interest & that your drive is ultimately SEX) women are much more superficial than you think, are really not all that enamored with your mind…they may say that, but it’s a temporary fixation usually and the shelf-life is slim…use your head to develop the Art of Seduction, the Venusian Arts…they will prove much more useful to you in the future…it’s a much more invigorating and satisfying accomplishment…FUN dare I say…yet, you ramble on and perhaps I yawn, and so will SHE…but it doesn’t have to be…
Ryan

Zek J Evets said...

Ryan,

I already have a girlfriend... haha. And your comment had nothing to do with the post. And you made it twice on two different posts.

Are you slow? Or just a troll?

Ryan said...

Yes, I can be a troll…but hopefully a helpful one…
I am more interested in U than the U-CHARIST and I hope you take that into account…
I thought to myself, “I must post this twice, thrice even as Zek must hear this…I must scream it loud from the rooftop…”
My new friend…I must say, it took a lot of bravery to post my comment to you…and for that I have much respect…
Perhaps even a change of heart…for once upon a time I was very much like you…
Nonetheless, I hope you might find some of it informative, helpful even…
And you are too young and too talented to have only one girlfriend…you should have many…line them up, like they use to in the days of ol’…
I come across a lot of these intellectual, information based BLOGS and the general tone seems myopic and overly-internalized…well if you stop to think about it ALL thought is exactly that, narrow and without enough available information, resources & experience to back it up…most thought is utterly useless in the final analysis…it prevents you from living…from BEING…
maybe we should start a new topic…and continue this exchange in a civil and productive manner…let me know…
Anyway, hope we can move on to a wonderful and fulfilling friendship via the ZEITGEIST…AND BEYOND…
r