Faith and pretty candles

I have given it quite allot of thought and as I am totally uncomfortable speaking about religion and religious belief, especially as I am not particularly inclined towards it, I will just say one thing. In the Philippines quite a significant number of people are religious and a significant number of those people are Roman Catholics. The main difference I can point out between the faith here and the type of faith I am more used to is that unlike in, say, England where if you were caught praying in public you might be a bit embarrassed, in the Philippines it is a pretty big part of life and even the most religiously disinclined may well feel peer pressured into saying grace before a meal.

I don’t really approve of bible basher bashing, in the west, at least, I think religious people are a sort of acceptable target for bullying mainly by ‘atheists’ who, frankly, I regard as a sort of cult, especially as the ones who announce that they are atheists and moan about religion don’t seem to know what atheist actually means, I am an atheist, in fact, as I do not follow a theistic belief system, it does not necessarily follow that I do not believe in god. I acknowledge, however, that quite a few people who claim to be religious in order to justify crimes or general inhumanity could benefit from a good boot to the head. There are both good and bad aspects to any single thing on the planet. I for one support the idea of religious freedom and do say this to people. Curiously I have even been confronted for it, as though I am (or anyone with religious inclination is) unaware of, or responsible for everything that is or has been justified by theology. I just think the sense of community and external support network that a safe place of worship brings is good for people. I honestly would have no idea if my neighbour was going through a bad patch but perhaps if I met him in church I might and I would probably be willing to give my time and support to help him, especially if prompted. On top of that faith is both calming and beneficial to health and I am sure any number of studies support that statement. Really, how can there be dialogue and mutual benefit between different groups when people are faced purely with only black and white options?

With all that in mind, let’s look at some pretty devotion related pictures. Apologies, I had a rant and I did not mean to.

Also I admit I did not have the gall to photograph the crying miraculous Mama Mary statue in Simala Cebu. I was afraid to upset her. Being in a church makes me mentally blaspheme so much I am afraid I will burst into flame, I think its nerves, I try to reign it in, like I did not touch the holy water because I figured if the only reason I was putting it on my forehead was to cool down I probably wouldn’t be using it correctly.

In this gallery you will see a picture of my step-sister who had a better than expected recovery after a horrific motorbike accident that left her in a critical condition for weeks, now she only has a few scars, it is attached to a prayer which was given to this church. There were many such letters and miracles displayed in the church and I have to admit that that moved me more than I have ever been moved in a place of worship. I would have very much liked to have been moved to some sort of religious epiphany of some kind but I really don’t think I am made that way.