Monday, December 1, 2008

Catholicism

And this, from an autistic, remember.

Large numbers of HFA people end up agnostic or atheistic, or at least secular humanist.  I can understand that- it fits the logical, direct evidence mindset, and so much of Christianity seems highly contradictory, especially if you can't understand body language or social hierarchies.

Having said that, my Catholicism gives me two things that I value extremely highly in my experience as an autistic:

  1. A place to go, once a week, that for an hour, I know *exactly* how to act.  The Catholic Mass is highly liturgical and scripted, and while it does evolve, evolves extremely slowly.  This helps me have at least one place I can have a social experience without being viewed as weird or strange; and the rules are printed in the missal for anybody to read.
  2. A highly evolved theology that is self consistent.  This is highly important to an autistic; it's something that is missing from the younger more independent sects.  Catholic (both Roman and Orthodox) churches have a long history, 2000 years and counting, and as such, have had a lot of work done on their theologies to at least make them internally consistent.
A good example of that last is the 20th century doctrine known as the Seamless Garment of Life, which so many Americans are confused by because it seems to cover both the far left and the far right of politics without touching the middle.  But it is internally consistent to itself- basically, it goes back to the rather primative notion that only God has the right to grant or take away human life, and that everything governments do should be in support of allowing God that right.  Thus war and the death penalty are forbidden, but so is artificial birth control, abortion and fertility treatments.  Also banned is economics that deny people their basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter, or that encourages hastening the death of the sick.  This seems extreme to the center of America, who are pro-choice, pro-war, and worship at the great altar of Wall Street, but they're confused because it covers so much on both sides of the spectrum.

2 comments:

mercedo said...

I attended Catholic Mass three times each in different places -the Philippines and Japan. Their liturgy was exactly the same.

Ted Seeber said...

As it should be- too bad it isn't always that close in the United States (too many archbishops, too trendy of culture), but it's close, and that's why I'm still Catholic.

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