Monday, April 25, 2005

Back from the Dead

Well, it's been a while. Graduate work snowed me under in the past several months, but the end is in sight. Two weeks from now I will have completed my program. Upon the recommendation of my best friend, I will begin requiring people to refer to me as "Master" until I decide to complete doctoral work. Why doesn't it work that way?

A lot to comment on and little time, but I'll begin with the new pope. This seems to be a great topic of interest and a divisive one, as should be expected when religion is involved. The Catholic Church has been getting some heat for instituting what is viewed as a "transitional" pope. However, I think they made a wise choice for several reasons.

First off, the church is in turmoil. There is a large divide between the traditionalist Catholics and the progressive Catholics. The progressives want standards changed and doctrine eased up, and the traditionalists want the church to take a stand against the relativism that is making headway into other religions. The next several years will be an important time in the church's internal debate and decision-making, and so it makes sense to put a leader in place who will not be there for several years and therefore possibly be required to change his stance on some of these issues. The change of leadership in a few years will provide a more natural transition in philosophy, if the church decides to become more progressive.

I also like picking a traditionalist pope. Until the church decides to move toward a more post-modern approach (if they ever do), they need to hold the line on doctrine. That being said, I hope they maintain the philosophy of upholding standards that they deem important. I do not agree with all of their doctrinal positions or beliefs, and I do not accept a large portion of Catholic doctrine. However, I respect the fact that they stand for absolute truth and have fought off the attempts from within the church to essentially make it easier to be Catholic. I believe that religion must be based on absolute truth for it to have any importance. Otherwise it's based on what I like today. What basis is that? Why bother following something that changes based on some whim or some cultural standard? The point of religion is to affect culture, not the other way around.

I don't think it should be easy to be Catholic, Buddhist, or anything else. I get annoyed with people who want to be called Catholic, Christian, Muslim, or whatever else but do not want to adhere to the core teachings of the religion or accept certain aspects of what they believe. If you want to form your own easier religion to follow, go ahead. Just don't expect true followers of the major religions to call you something you're not. Either get in or get out.

Enough for today. Regular postings resume as of now, so tomorrow will be economics and politics.


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April 25, 2005 at 8:45 AM  

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