I'm not talking child's guilt for breaking mom's jade vase, or even guilt for doing a great injustice as killing someone or terroristic arson, but guilt as you would put with Guilty pleasures. I know the answer is simple, if you are going to live life based on a religion or spiritual aspect, you must follow the rules according to your religion. The answer is there, its living with it that questions the question. I will give a few examples, then I will explain my dilemma.
Someone of the Hindu faith cannot eat meat. They believe in the rebirth of people souls into that of an animal or plant, Reincarnation as it were. On a cooking show I was watching at my grandmothers house, a woman of Indian decent was making a meal involving meat. I easily brushed off any concern about it, it had not yet said anything about her being a practicing Hindu, until she mentioned it. That in order for her to break this rule of her religion, she became a partial Hindu. Which I took as she negates the rules she doesn't want to follow, but still fasts for Mahashivaratri. ( I googled that just to make a point... lol, good luck pronouncing it.)
Next, lets take a BIG topic discussed daily in America, Gays. I see this falling under the same category as what I am dealing with, and that is basically Sexual Immorality. People often reference the Bible in a debate on Homosexual Relationships. In it, it reads,
"Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable." Leviticus 18:22
"If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them
have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads." Leviticus 20:13.
So, what is read, if a man has sex with another man, it is a sin. Not the relationship they have together, not the midnight Rocky Horror Picture Show parties they have with a bunch of buddies, just the act of coitus.
A lot of people look at homosexuality as an "ultimate sin" because they are choosing a life style based on a sin. That isn't true, what they do in that life style is what the Bible calls. a sin. So basically there not any more or less sinners then the rest of us. An every now and then dirty joke, taking a couple hundred from your neighbors dresser, A white lie here and there, and even a sexual act between men, its all sin.
BUT, the whole argument wouldn't exist without Religious Guilt. The feeling that you have done bad, so you must point out other peoples wrongs, or the Suicides of Homosexuals because of the guilt put on them from the Bible, or religious family members.
Religious guilt is the cause of a lot of depression, its what I have heard preachers call, "The Battle of the Flesh". I am really strong in my spirituality, I love Christ with all my heart, and try to follow God's word and wisdom daily. I also don't shove religious bull shit down peoples throat when they don't ask for it, but when they do, I will talk your ears numb. I love Christ, I love what he has done for me in life, but I cant help but think if I didn't have Christ in my life, besides all the pain and evil that would of ran it rampant, I wouldn't have religious guilt, but I have Christ and religious guilt. which is dumb because I don't like religion. Religion is a man made faction to control people into main ideas on how God works. Catholicism Doesn't preach being "born again" because once you die you face judgment, nor are they allowed to talk to God directly, hence the confessional. Baptist looks down on speaking in tongues because it's charismatic, but the Pentecost thrive on the whole idea of charismatic worship. There is WAY to many contradictions in religion to say I'm religious. I can tell you I have a relationship with God, but I wont claim to be religious. But the fact of the matter stands, religious or spiritual, guilt runs ramped in Christians. I like women, I like having sex, I like looking at beautiful women, what guy on the face of the earth is going to tell you otherwise. Following my personal walk with God I have made it 23 years without drinking, smoking, drugs, sculpting a life out of crime, or even being a total asshole. Lust is the one sin that seems to hammer and weigh me down. Every time I look at a woman and think sexual thoughts I feel bad. Every time I perform sexual acts, whether it be with someone or not, I feel like I just smacked my Grandmother. I don't have many vices in my life, but this one seems to be big enough to cover for it. Having "Impure thoughts" or acts is a sin, but its also a way of life. Without it, the world wouldn't have been populated. I have studied this subject hours on end. It comes down to a chemical level in your brain. Dopamine and Serotonin are the "feel good" chemicals in your brain. They get produced when you get a hug, when you go "awww" when you see a cute animal, when your significant other surprises you with a gift, and even during an orgasm.
During an orgasm, every muscle in your body tightens, releasing a bunch of acetone. (which is why an orgasm makes you tired) Your brain fires electrical impulses to nowhere, the dopamine and serotonin gets dumped by the bucket loads, your breathing gets deep and swift, pain respecters stop registering as a bad thing, for however long it lasts, your entire body is doing something. After its done, your muscles are tired, your breathing is shallow, your nerves are ultra sensitive, everything takes a moment to reset except the chemical bath your brain just got. You feel good, your happy, cuddles are sought after, you feel the need to touch, rest, and wallow in your happiness. After a few years of that, your brain gets addicted to it. The self made chemicals in your brain become an addictive drug. There is no natural way of stopping it. Once you show your brain a few time how invigorating an orgasm is, it begins to crave it. Releasing a bit of sexual tension is healthy. People like to feel wanted and loved, even if its just for a "one-night". Aside from all the fear of STD's and pregnancy's, because they are both preventable, there is nothing wrong with a one night stand, unless you are a Christian....
It is 5 am, I have church in 5 hours, (yeah a late morning church, thank you GOD!) and I have to walk with the guilt of sexual thoughts and feelings because I am taught and was raised that it is wrong, and I'm not arguing that it isn't, but the freedom of life, and the liberation of having faith in my opinion cant coexist. So its either abandon my faith, or live life in guilt because there is no stopping human nature.
So, my blog reading friend, (or Ani) in your opinion, and this might take a blog post of your own to answer, Can Religious Guilt and Life's Guilty Pleasures exist together?
Munch on that food for thought and Vomit your answer below.
(BTW may the Fourth be with you)