There is a cluenessless about God as part of one’s life and worldview  can be seens in this article, where pro abortion politicians have plainly decided to receive communion from the Pope in a public forum.The press will undoubtably report this as a political issue, but here is the key clue that the politicians don’t take God very seriously:

“There’s a time for celebrating who we are as Catholics, and this is one of those times,” said Rep. Jose Serrano, D-N.Y.

“The leader of my church and a head of state is visiting my country, my city where I work, in a brand new ballpark,” he added. “There is a great sense of excitement.”

Actually, the Mass is not a way to celebrate “who we are as Catholics”, even if it is held in a “brand new ballpark”.

You want to celebrate who you are as a Catholic? There are other ways to do that: The St. Patrick’s Day parade come to mind.

But the Mass is a way to worship God.

Some people here ask why I attend a mass in Tagalog, which I can barely follow, instead of going to a nearby Baptist church with wonderful sermons in English.

I usually answer: Ah, but who listens to sermons?

Worship for a Catholic is not about singing or even studying the Bible and hearing sermons. These can be prayer (“lifting one’s mind and heart to God” is the Catholic definition of prayer).

But for Catholics, we worship with the Mass, where we meet God, and where he comes to us.

The Mass has many layers of symbolism and meaning, from recreating the Last supper/Passover meal to the sacrifice of Christ on the cross/the Passover Lamb. And when one receives communion, the least educated Pinoy Catholic would understand this meant that they were “eating Christ” and so Christ was coming into their heart and soul.

Yuck. Cannibalism? Yup. That’s what the Romans who ridiculed Christians said.

But Catholics see it as more than a fuzzy symbol to make one feel better, they see it as something sacred: A real meeting with God using a simple meal. Food makes us strong, and eating Christ puts him in our heart to make us his hands in this world.

To readers of this essay who don’t believe, just suppose you met the Being who made the universe. It would be sort of a big deal, right?

Most people who take God seriously would bow down in awe and humility.

Of course, a lot of my atheistic friends would stand there and argue with Him for not doing it right, but at least they’d take the deity seriously.

But these politicians go around touting “religion” but don’t seem to take God seriously. Watching them, they seem  to think it would be God congratulating them for their own wonderfulness, as if God was a nothing, and they were everythng.

Not everything is politics, some things have a reality that goes beyond political manipulation, symbolism, or the next election cycle.

So politicians who support abortion are saying: The pregnancy is not a real child, so it doesn’t matter. Well, maybe that little blob of tissue does matter to a God who says he knows us before we are knit together in our mother’s womb. There may be real reasons for a woman to seek an abortion, but like all killing, it does matter to God.

But for these politicians, being against abortion loses them the pro choice vote. So those who claim they are Catholic are saying: Votes are real, God is not real.

By receiving communion in public, they are implying: this is not a real thing where we stand in awe in front of the deity who made the earth and who came to teach us how to live. It’s a celebration of me, me, me. I want to be happy, so how dare you stop me from showing off.

All of this of course will be ignored by the press and most of those at the Mass.

But I suspect Benedict will pray for their souls.

God forgives little ones who sin by accident, but Jesus, like Isaiah and the prophets before him, tended to be a bit hard on arrogant politicians (and wishy washy churchmen).

Which is why I think honest atheists like Christopher Hitchens and ex abortionists like Dr. Nathanson will be more welcome in heaven: because at least they took the deity seriously, not as a way to get rich or win votes.

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Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. Her website is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket.

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