Foreward: I am not drunk or high when I write this. My way of writing may suggest “far out” thoughts, but I have not drunk any alcohol in many months.
I was raised Catholic, and one of the cardinal rules is to feel guilty pretty much all the time. This prevents a Catholic from having too much fun, and many, many times is actually very useful for staying out of trouble.
That said, it has been hard for me to find a good Catholic community outside of family. I only need family, but sometimes I wish there was some sort of network out there in any town where you could just start a mini-party. I thought about a Catholic church, but then I realized they aren’t my kind of Catholics. [Drum roll]
In recent years, I’ve admired Jewish and Muslim communities. They seem to manage quite well, and seem to have more fun than Catholics, probably because guilt is not such a central focus. In no way am I suggesting that Jews and Muslims don’t feel the same sort of guilt, but there is just this sort of cohesiveness that seems to flow like a party.
Catholics who party can’t remember half of what happened the night before at the local Irish tavern, where I would imagine a Catholic would go to party. This is why I think Jews and Muslims drink less (or not at all) and seem to prosper from a well-planned party ethos. Partying seems to be against the beliefs of any religion, but with the right formula, it seems to strengthen the community, not weaken it.
Maybe Catholics need to rethink the concept of party. I’m thinking reformist- that would be too Protestant. Catholics seem to have popularity crises, even though the new pope is chill as can be.
If a Catholic community is really going to appeal to the current generation, I think the values that I think are important may change. But I think I might be forgetting the classic form of Catholicism that appears to be at odds with the current generation, and possibly the cause of that separation. I’m not sure what I believe anymore- I scavenge my past for values that seem to be rooted in Catholicism, and I search for beliefs in other regligious systems that Catholicism does not have but needs. At the same time, my ability to adhere to any formal set of beliefs appears to not be useful, while I seek to understand each religion without renouncing it.
I can’t say or know much much about other non-Abrahamic religions- there are many interesting concepts in other religions, and I have understood more recently. Eastern religions have a focus on family, almost to a higher degree in some ways, yet are also more environmentally focused while having aspects of asceticism. This is not absent in Western religions, but it appears more outwardly accessible to an illiterate. That said, why do some religions appear more visual/semiotic in absence of a language proficiency?
Eastern religions also seem a lot less into partying, even less so than Catholics, who seem to spend half-their time confessing in private and explains why they are often nowhere to be found locally. I guess the old Jesus fish is a way to ask for attention, although it can also invite unwanted attention. A grain of salt, this blog post should be read with, I should emphasize, but even a single grain of salt can’t be sprinkled on unleavened bread- if one were to interpret Passover literally. So, feel free to reject the premise of the post entirely. Surely there is a time and place for introspection?