When I was a small girl, I was known in my parish as the girl who could answer anything. That title stemmed from the fact that when the priest asked kids questions during his homily, my hand would always be high up in the air.
I’ve always been a believer in Christ. The only difference between the small girl from the past and me today is the absence of blind faith. Then, I’d believed everything that was told to me. I thought everything that was told to me was actually said by God.
The introduction of banned series ‘Harry Potter’ in my library brought about the first change in my beliefs. I read the entire series consisting of seven books, checking for anti-Christ aspects in all of them. I found none. I still wonder why did the then Pope ban them.
Next, I read The Da Vinci Code. I was very confused. What was the problem if Jesus had a girlfriend or a wife? It’s not a big deal. I didn’t think it would take away from what he did.
That book alone pretty much shook the pillars of faith that I had in me. The prequel, Angels and Demons destroyed the shaken towers altogether. I remember turning agnostic for three whole months in tenth. I was so terrified that I’d lost my faith that I hesitantly confessed my predicament to my best friend, S, who calmly told me it would pass.
I went back and started questioning everything I’d ever learnt. Read the entire Bible again. I realized that so much of injustice was done to innocent people then, especially towards women. I spoke about it at length to my friend. She told me it was the custom of those days, just like the ancient Indian practices of sati and pardah which were later stopped. Also, she told me something that I still hadn’t grasped. The Bible had been written by humans. It didn’t magically appear from heaven. And because humans have flaws, the Bible also would.
Slowly, I started to form my own conclusions, my own views. I have pretty much erased all blind faith I ever had. The transition took time; I still wasn’t ready to give up basically what I had been brought up on.
After school, when I took Arts in college, I was introduced to something else that would put a huge dent in my already broken faith: Sociology.
This subject alone managed to dispel any preconceived notions I had about religion. I learned about the origins of various religions; found out that the basis of most religions is one god: Monotheism.
I finally pieced my faith back together. Being a catechism teacher helped too. I taught eight standard kids about Christianity, all the while learning myself. I realized my teachers hadn’t taught us the wrong stuff; we’d just interpreted it in the wrong way. Studying Sociology helped put it all in the right perspective.
Today, I am once again a firm believer in Christ. Now, I don’t believe anything sightlessly. I check and double check any book I’m reading. I’ve stopped taking the word of people as true. I like to make my own beliefs and not be dictated by something written down hundreds of years ago.
That said I’m still a proper Catholic. I still believe in Jesus. I just don’t believe the things the Church presents to us if things seem fishy. Like the ban on Harry Potter or The Da Vinci Code.
So, today on the 31st of October, the starting point of the Harry Potter series and also Halloween, I figured this post would be most apt. Halloween is after all, is the Christian festival celebrated on the eve of All Saints’ Day.
So, Happy Halloween, and to those who do it, Happy ‘Trick or Treating’.
I know I should’ve posted this tomorrow as I’m doing NaBloPoMo: National Blog Posting Month and I’m going to be out of ideas in a week or so, but I couldn’t resist posting on Halloween.
Until next time,