Monday, September 5, 2011

Faith and Fanaticism: Defending where Catholics are most misunderstood

Do Catholics worship idols? The answer is a big "No". Catholics only worship the true and living God. But why do we find so many images inside a Cathedral where most of the faithful  say their prayers and kneel down to? Are these faithful committing idolatry or is it simply just a form of fanaticism under the cloak of faith?

Two years ago, I happened to chat with a one time online friend of mine on various topics  but especially on one we've spent three hours arguing with(no, not really arguing but discussing) that sparked from her asking me a question, upon knowing I was from the Philippines, about why most of the Filipinos are fanatic worshiper of a God? She was, of course, obviously and in fact, an atheist who hailed from the Northern European country of Sweden. "It is because the Filipinos", I told her, "believed in God just as you believed in atheism." She replied in three words she may have quoted from Nietzsche: "God is dead." "So you believe there is God," I said, "but only he was dead."

Mostly, Filipino Catholics are fanatics. But they are fanatics only in a sense that they are so much devoted and in depth with their faith. When you saw them kneeling before the images of the crucified Christ, the Saints, and the Virgin Mary, they don't really mean literally worshiping the wooden carvings in front of them, but the true God beyond the represented figures. In the case of the Saints and of Mary, they served as our intercessors to God  where we can also offer our prayers and devotions.

We Catholics don't worship Baal, Anubis, and many other pagan gods from long ago, but the true and living God alone. Faith and fanaticism may be a different thing at one sense but they may also be just the same at another. But what's important, though, is that we have a God to believe and worship to than to deny His existence in the midst of His presence.

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