Saturday, January 1, 2011

That Catholic guilt

How has Ireland come so far from its good Catholic origins in such a short space of time? Is it merely because of technology and its never ending supply of knowledge that has enlightened us as a nation? Or it could have been that now elusive boom that made us more selfish and greedy as a nation that caused us to abandon those Catholic morals in favor of all those immoral and, well, fun exploits. I would argue it was a combination of both, and that we're all better off because of it.

During the boom the whole country went mental. We were making money and that making of money became the country's religion. In the last few months the country has been looking at the boom in a negative light, and for good reasons. But it wasn't all bad. Whilst going collectively mental as a country we managed to distance ourselves from our "Catholic Ireland" image, which can only be a good thing. Rather than going to church every sunday the country was in bed recovering from the litres of vodka and kilos of cocaine consumed the night before or making that trip to the care doc with that classy girl you met the night before. Because we were so rich we just bought the morning after pill rather than condoms. We were out of control as a nation but as a result we were beginning to move away from the control of the Catholic Church.  We could no longer claim to be the Catholic country we once were. But it's safe to say that the Catholic Church certainly helped us on our journey with their ever growing list of sex scandals and general bigotry and ignorance that can be found in most religions.

Technology has also helped us greatly in this respect. The boom can also be included in the technological aspect of our move away from religion and our subsequent move towards critical thought over blind faith. Everyone now had the money to own a computer or laptop, if not both. People can go on to youtube and type in the names Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins or Bill Maher and thousands of results will pop up with these men talking sense. Well, for the most part anyway. Twenty years ago it would have been easier to find a priest who would admit to lobbin' it up some alter boy, than an athiest in Ireland. I don't have the exact statistic but, the majority of my friends would be athiests and it's mostly as a result of technology. We would not have heard of these people if it wasn't for the internet and its never ending output of information on everything.

People will testify to the positives that the Catholic Church has done. Well I would say that the negatives far outweigh the positives. People often point to the morals of such religious orders as being positives and admirable. Well these were the morals that proclaimed that shame should be brought upon anyone who had children outside wedlock. This directly resulted in an astonishing rate of infanticide in Ireland in the early part of the twentieth century. So, if that is the result of holding the Catholic Church's morals in such high esteem, I would much rather be considered immoral.