Wednesday, July 14, 2010

excuse my religion

*this will be a lengthy post.
never argue about religion.

this is the one thing that i have realized from multiple discussions i had so far. for me, regardless, of how interesting or promising the flow of the conversation may be, i always try to avoid it as much as possible; especially at times, when someone insist it to me.

let us admit it, it is never easy to tackle and question another people's belief. for first, it is simply disrespectful, not only to the individual, but to the long history of the community s/he belongs. and lastly, you will never ever reach a common point. it will always be just an (heated) arguement, rather than a healthy debate or conversation.

religion is the sum total of a long history of beliefs and traditions of a particular community. in sociology, it is believed to be practiced and observed for it is deemed appropriate, or better yet beneficial, for the survival of both human individual and society.

i was born and raised roman catholic. and i can say, that my family is pretty strict and compliant when it comes to our religion. signs of it include the fact that all of us studied in exclusive catholic schools. we observe novena everyday, attend mass during sundays, pray grace to each meal we have (even if its just small snacks and meriendas); and even required (by our parents) to memorize, fully understand and discuss each passages of the bible before we go to bed. i even remember my dad bringing me to a seminary when i was sent to the province to take highschool. but since i was a transferee from manila, the rector did not allow me. nonetheless, i never ended up being religious. but i could not classify myself neither as an agnostic nor atheist. i'd rather prefer being called spiritual.

for me, the belief of (a) god/s is always present. but i can not help myself from doubting some claims whenever it is being interpreted and applied by its institution (or the church) to my life. and other than these, i refuse to elaborate further. for as i have earlier mentioned, i am avoiding crossing other people's boundaries, until that day.

he was my immediate supervisor from my previous job. i never really knew him that well. all i knew was, he seriously wants to be a seminarian and hopefully to be a priest. but since the responsibilty of being the eldest son in the family indirectly called him, he set aside this ambition first and took the role of being the bread-winner of his family. nonetheless, he claims that he kept a spiritual adviser in contact whenever his devotion is put into the test because of work.

"eric, are you a catholic?" he politely asked me while i was busy signing some work-related documents.

"by paper, yes. by practice, no."


"i believe in the presence of god. but i value my free will more than what my church calls for me."

"interesting. but why?"

"i am sorry, boss. but i am really not comfortable elaborating my answer."
"i understand. its okay."

i smiled at him as a sign that i appreciate him respecting my decision. but at the back of my head, i was also itching to know why he raised the question. thus,

"why did you ask?"

"nothing really. i just wondered, how are you with your teammates considering they are... you know.. they are..."

"gays and lesbians?"

yes. all of my teammates, if not for one straight guy , are gays and lesbians.

"i am pretty okay with them. actually, i enjoy their company and i never really considered their sexuality as a problem to their performance or to mine."

"it is surprising that you are pretty open and considerate with this."

"of course, why can't i?"

"you see, personally, i have already accepted this idea (idea??? strike one!), especially in this kind of industry (aha! stereotyping. strike two!). but as a religious person, all i can do is to tolerate. but what i am really against with is the... (he was already twitching just thinking of the word) sex or promiscousity associated with this kind of life style for it is a sin (SIN. strike three. OUT!)."

there goes my queu. gathering all the thoughts in my head, i composed myself and just smiled back at him. for i knew, he would definitely asked for my opinion.

"how about you? whats your stand about this?"

told you.

"for me, sex is neither a need or want. it is a drive. and human nature will tell us, that regardless if it is about sex or not, the more you repress or supress something, the more an individual reacts, craves and does it. thus, in terms of the behavior, we perceive it as being promiscous.

i guess, what i am just trying to say is that the behavior is due to the lack of institutional recognition; that is deemed wrong or a sin because of the absence of that one thing that justifies sex: marriage. though i am not really a big fan of the general concept, i still believe that it will definitely be beneficial to the general welfare of the individuals concerned and even to the society they belong; for the fact, still remains, that regardless of how non-traditional the concept may be, all of us are still deeply rooted with a big part of our common traditions and beliefs.

i believe that human nature is not as complex as what we think it is. what we just need to do is to try being more open to the wide variety of possibilities, in order for us to understand it. besides, there is no such thing as a stationary individual or society. each entity evolves based from each needs in order to survive. thus, if a society is faced with such problem, it does not mean that it needs to throw away everything that it has long-established and change entirely. what we are just being called for is to adjust, if deemed necessary, and then move further. for the only thing that changes in this world is time alone."

then i immediately looked at my supervisor's reaction and i swear, i heard a voice inside of my head saying, "nganga!" hahaha!

he did not follow up anything anymore. he just slowly nodded and asked me to go back to my desk. when i sat on my station, T was seated beside me, "what is that about? it took you guys almost an hour."

"nothing. just trying to know each other."

then i saw a subtle smile on the side of his lips.

"whatever, T."
days after i ended my contract, i received a text message from an unknown number.

"hey eric. how are you? i have heard of what happened. wanna have coffee this weekend?"

it was my supervisor, N.


Anonymous said...

Si supervisor ba dinedate mo ngayon? :P

wanderingcommuter said...

of course not! echusero kang anonymous ka! mahirap karibal si lord! lol!

Yas Jayson said...

i am catholic and i am proud of who I am. i think what makes me not confused about the teachings of my religion versus my sexual preference is that i see the church like us, wandering and evolving with time and the world.

if only people like us would see church as a the way you do, they will not be confused with its stand against homosexuality. the church is learning its mistakes and misunderstandings, we can only hope that it would catch up soon.

ewik, i like your faith. god bless you.

wanderingcommuter said...

yas, naks, salamat. i am still hopeful. though i am not saying that the church is committing a mistake here, i am just hoping that they will meet somewhere in the middle.

Mu[g]en said...

"Tell them, go beyond the concept of religion and what you see is a universe of compassion."


wanderingcommuter said...

kuya joms, sige itetext ko yan sa supervisor ko. hahahaha! see you soon.

ced said...

galing! good to read you stood up to what you believe. i hate stereotypes, lahat naman tayo may capability to do good at the same time nagkakasala, straight or not. respeto lang yan. :D

at masama din ang magisip ng masama sa kapwa! hehe

wanderingcommuter said...

kailangan. nonetheless, mabait naman yung supervisor ko eh.
sometimes you just have to bring up yourself for people to have something to reconsider.

lee said...

in all aspects in life, it all boils down to respect :)

Anonymous said...

God has a great idea. Religion (and the "religious") fucked it up!!!

paci said...

a lot of people have religion but they are not spiritual. and then those who claim to be ardent followers of their religion criticize and condemn other people who have a different belief. i know there are still "miseducated" people out there who cannot accept our existence. i feel sad for them.
amen ako sa mga sinabi mo. =)

red the mod said...

Being religious and being spiritual are two entirely different concepts. The former is dependent on a construct, the latter driven by belief. If only more people viewed religion similar to how you do, it would've saved us all a lot of time explaining and arguing. I must agree, whenever the topic of religion is brought up, if I feel the company I'm with would be myopic, I just back off. Conserve my thoughts to someone more willing to listen and actually converse about it.

I'm agnostic. I've been for a while now. Coming from a very conservative and devout Roman Catholic family, I relate to certain details you shared. The ritualistic nature of religiosity, and the value placed on men of the cloth. My uncle is a priest.

But I've realized that all religions, despite the myriad translations and variants, have a congruence in its belief system. Inherent values that are leit motifs across religions and regions. It doesn't matter which brand of faith you subscribe to, but rather that you understand the virtues it is meant to instill and readily practice this with your fellowmen.

Religion is a channel, a tool, a methodology to reach that stasis of human co-existence. To embrace religion, fully and wholeheartedly, precludes that you embrace you humanity. By compassion, dignity, faith and understanding.

Great post, sir.

ןıuǝ oɟ ɟןıƃɥʇ said...

this type of discussion should certainly be prohibited by law if it is not currently. supervisors preaching to their subordinates is not conducive to a healthy work environment.

orallyours said...

"i believe in the presence of god. but i value my free will more than what my church calls for me." i love this line.
on a lighter note parang favorite phrase ng mga badets ang "i'm not religious, i'd rather be called spiritual"

davidrockens said...

do i need to comment..babe hahaha

ang bias mo sa mga tao na may religion hmmm joke

tim said...

as always you are just awesome...

i love those wonderful words.. whoa, awesome!

Niel Camhalla said...

sabi mo nga never argue so no arguments here. saka bakit mo ko sinisigawan dun sa comment sa previous post??? wag natin ipahalata na medyo maharot tayo. *sabay kurot sa singit* Hihihi.

wanderingcommuter said...

lee: exactly, yun pala ang nalimutan kong ilagay. ang favorite line ko'ng, respect begets respect.

anonymous: sssshhhh... kalma. hehehe

paci: i guess, what some religious people stop thinking is that they are higher than everybody else. a classic scene of vikings eradicating what they called "savages" during their time.

red: as usual, you leave me speechless again. hahaha!

lof: nah! i guess, my supervisor was just trying to hit a conversation. actually, i didn't feel na he's attacking someone.

orallyours: hahaha. we can say that i am nakikiuso. nyahaha!

babe: you know naman we lure in silence. nyahaha! nagsalita ang hindi bias sa lahat ng pop! nyahaha!

tim: hey! its been a while. thanks for the warm words!

NNNNNNNNNNIIIIIIIIEEEEELLLLL! alam mo naman ikaw ang favorite ko'ng ruby... hihihi. pich it harder please! hahaha

jericho said...

amen (pun fully intended)