Sunday, 20 November 2011

The Apostate's Creed

One of my favorite parts of the mass when I was a devout Catholic was reciting the Apsotles' Creed.  I won't reprint it here, you can click on the link to read it on Wikipedia.  I'm not sure why it appealed to me so much.  In part I'm sure it was because it was so concrete.  It was a concise summary of the foundation upon which I had built my life.  I loved it so much I once spent hours drawing a sort of calligraphy version of it that I had intended  putting on a T-shirt.  I often included the creed in my prayers.  To me, it just sounded cool. 

 I decided to adopt a position of being a proud Apsotate after reading this line in the Wikipedia article about apostasy: "Apostasy is generally not a self-definition: very few former believers call themselves apostates because of the pejorative implications of the term."
I came up with the idea of writing an Apostate's Creed in part because it sounded cool.  Apostle and Apostate sound similar but are almost polar opposites.   
The idea also appealed to me, because it is a statement of conviction.  I am not just a non-practicing Catholic.  I am not just a sheep that has wandered away from the flock.  I was exactly that for a long time, but I have since moved on.  I have since taken a very hard look at my former beliefs and I have not just abandoned them.  I reject them and I renounce my membership in the Catholic Church.  I renounce the sacraments I received from the church:  my baptism, my confirmation, my communion, the religious part of my marriage, and the confessions I made (especially since most of the "sin" I was confessing, despite being categorized as mortal sin and deserving of hell by the church, was nothing more than a completely normal part of being a teenage boy. that harmed no one). 

I'm sure many would be tempted at this point to conclude that I am an angry atheist, that I'm lashing out emotionally.  I won't deny that I do harbour some resentment over the psychological damage my own beliefs did to me in those years, but my motivation to speak out is not some quest for revenge.  I speak out because is not just false, it's a bad idea.  Its doctrines have influenced history in incredibly negative ways and they continue to cast their shadow over the world.  I know it's out of context and deliciously ironic that I would quote the bible in an inspirational way, but I like Paul's words in 1 Corinthians 13:11 here: "When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me." Religion is a part of humanity's childhood.  It's Santa Claus fairy tales for adults.  But humanity needs to grow up, put this childish doctrine behind us, and reason like the thinking animals we are.  So... without rambling, here it is:

The Apostate’s Creed

I don’t believe in gods,
Or anything almighty.
There is no heaven, no god created earth.
Jesus Christ is not my lord, he was just a Jewish preacher.
He was conceived by a human father
And born of a non-virgin Mary,
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, died and was buried;
He did not descend into hell, because it does not exist;
He did not rise from the dead, and neither will the millions killed in his name;
He did not ascended into heaven, and his followers won't either.
He is not seated at any anyone’s right hand, because he is dead and there is no heavenly father.
He will not come again to judge the living or the dead.
I do not believe in any spirit,
The holiness of the Catholic or any other Church.
There is no communion of saints.
Forgiveness is human.
Resurrection is a myth.
And life is not everlasting, so make the most of what you’ve got.


No comments:

Post a Comment