“Catholic guilt”, is a well known phrase to many, and an all too well known feeling to Catholic religion followers.
My mom comes from a large family of seven kids who were all raised strictly Catholic. They went to Catholic school everyday and mass every Sunday. After years of confessions, hale Mary’s, repenting for their sins, feeling horrible about every little thing they did wrong, and having judgmental views pounded into their heads, as adults they decided they weren’t going to do it anymore.
I was baptized catholic when I was a baby, but I have not been raised Catholic. My parents have made it a point to teach me about all different kinds of religions, let me ask questions, do my own research if I wanted to, and decide what I want to believe on my own. Though I have not firmly found my stance on everything that I believe, I have found one belief that I feel strongly about. Fear and guilt should not have a place in religion. These negative feelings should not overpower good, pure, loving aspects that a strong belief and reliance in a bigger power can have for a person searching for answers.
People should not have to live day to day wondering if what they are doing is pleasing god, or if he is mad at them, as if every thing they do is another strike against them that needs to be cleared from their soul. I’m not saying people shouldn’t have any morals, of course everyone needs to have their own standards to live by and try and be the best person they can. But, when you feel guilty for stealing that piece of candy from the store when you were eight, saying a cuss-word when you stubbed your toe, or even something bigger like loving someone you are told by your church that you shouldn’t, there needs to be a line that is drawn between basic human morality and fear being used as a religious branding tool.
Live free. Be happy. Do what feels right to you. If there is a God out there, he will love you for the person you are. That’s who he created, isn’t it?