9/11 had been a traumatic experience for me, but even more traumatic was the realization that came piece by piece that the destruction of the WTC buildings and the attack on the Pentagon was not the work of a group of Islamic extremists headquartered in Afghanistan.
What shocked me most about this was the cover-up of these facts by not only the American, but by all western governments and even by the parliamentarian opposition and by practically all respected western media outlets.
Once you looked with open eyes at the evidence, the incompatibility of the official explanation with physical reality was quite clear for everyone to see, but those who were supposed to point this out just didn’t.
For all my life I had trusted the media even more than the Bible, and now I realized that the mainstream media wasn’t trustworthy.
And it was this that drew the ground from beneath my feet and made my world turn upside down.
Some compare this process I went through with the experience of fictional Neo who woke up from the Matrix after taking the Red Pill.
But that’s not how it was for me.
Neo, who felt isolated before, woke up to a community of people like him. He felt slightly disoriented and sick to his stomach but not alone, no longer alone.
For me it rather was a tumble into Alice’s Rabbit Hole. I was falling from a state where my mind was close to those around me into a hole where I was all alone, while the world was spinning in surreal absurdity.
Trusting no one any more I had to apply my own logic onto what often seemed beyond logic.
However trust is at least as important to one’s well-being as a roof over one’s head. If there is no trust left your mind is prone to paranoia. You look around yourself and you see enemies everywhere, real or imagined, it doesn’t matter, eventually madness will reign your every thought.
I realized I couldn’t live with that I had to find a new ground on which to stand, a new trust, a new hold.
And I found it in my faith and in my Church.
These became my ledge, the secure ground from where I can still watch the spinning world, but I have stopped spinning with it. I have made a conscious decision to not doubt this ledge, this ground under my feet.
Some would say, how can you trust the Catholic Church with all its scandals?
I’d say, I looked at the foundation and the foundation is good, the ultimate good, God.
I’d say as Catholics we are a Church of sinners, the saints are in heaven.
Scandals have been part of the Church’s history since the man who on Pentecost became the first Pope had a few weeks earlier, on the night to Good Friday, denied the very Christ who had called him to be the rock on which He would build his Church,had denied Him three times.
Sure some sins are a lot worse than others, and still those sins are aberrations, they do not define the Church.
The Church is the Body of Christ, composed of all its members, not only the clergy, but including the clergy.
I’m not blind to the Church’s past or present scandals, but I have read the Encyclica and the other documents coming out of the Vatican, and my own logic and conscience has told me that those writings describe a good foundation for the respect of the human person, for social justice and for peace. Through these documents I can see a loving God working in the minds of men.
Some say, the Church is “in it” on all the evils of financial or corporate capitalism and “in it” with the power-elites of the western world, she is itself a multi-billion dollar corporation.
I’d say, the money the Church has at the moment are mostly donations by not very rich ordinary people. And this money is just barely enough to keep up buildings and pay the salary of employees and to be used in those thousands and thousands of charities helping millions upon millions of poor people.
The Church’s charities do not only provide food for the hungry but also for instance shovels and machines to build wells for watering crops, so the hungry can grow their own food.
The ideas of solidarity and subsidiarity, the Church documents talk about, are implemented in many practical ways throughout the Churches many organizations. And they are a step into the direction of a decentralization of power. Both these concepts are part of Charity in action and show respect for the human person.
What gives me the greatest confidence, that the Catholic Church, including the leadership in the Vatican, is not “in it”, is the fact that she does not budge on the doctrines surrounding sexuality, doctrines which make the Church so misunderstood and even hated by the outside world.
If the Catholic Church leadership was “in it”, they would have given in on the birth control issue at least, if not on the abortion and homosexual issues as well, as the liberal protestant churches have done.
The Malthusian ideology of a human over-population threat has become a pseudo-religious doctrine, that is no longer being questioned, both for the media as well as for academia. And for decades now it has come to the point, that even many Catholics do not understand why the Church opposes artificial birth control.
The fact however is, that the Church does allow for family planning, but a natural form of it (NPT), in a method that is as effective as hormonal pills and more effective than condoms. It is based on the woman’s awareness of her own body and it’s signs. The method demands more communication between husband and wife. And those who practice the method often testify that their relationship and love has deepened because of this need for communication and closer physical knowledge and involvement with one another.
The method takes a little bit more effort than popping pills, but not much. It is a lot cheaper than the artificial methods, and it can be learned by all women, literate and illiterate ones as well. And since this method is not build on an artificial hormone confusion in the female body it has no side-effects that would go with that. These side-effects include besides other health issues a higher risk for a later infertility of the woman and contamination of water resources by female hormones which might lead to male infertility.
The Church also opposes “in vitro fertilization” methods and every form of genetic manipulation.
It would have been so easy for the Church to give in on the pressure by everybody else, but she didn’t.
And with this the Catholic Church is the only major institution in the world that consistently opposes Malthusian and Eugenics ideologies, the only organization that consistently defends the right to life and dignity of the human person and the genetic integrity of the human race.
While the nourishment I can find within the Church is in most parts spiritual (or psychological, if you want to see it in secular terms,) my firm decision to find this nourishment in the Catholic Church and in no other denomination or religion is based on the above facts and my secular logic and knowledge.
- My Ledge (a poem)
- THE 9/11 READER. The September 11, 2001 Terror Attacks
- The Ideology of Malthusian Concerns
- The New Eugenics: Cloning and Beyond
- The Social Agenda of the Catholic Church
- Fertility Awareness: Natural Family Planning (NFP)
- Church teaching on in vitro fertilization
- Theology of the Body