To Infinity and Beyond

Since time immemorial, humans had been burdened and frightened by the end times. The thought of our earth crumbling to pieces ending all forms of life is like a harrowing nightmare to most of us. The apocalypse, depending on the kind of religion you subscribe to can either distress or excite you. The end of the world or our earth is something I can understand and appreciate. When our sun extinguishes its heat 5 billion years from now, it’s lights out for all of mankind. But the earth does not need the sun to end its inhabitants’ existence. It can perform a self imposed facelift or reconfiguration and wreck havoc of apocalyptic porportions on humans anytime it wishes to. It is predicted that 5 million years from now our land mass will not look the same. Plate tectonics will cause Australia to move north engulfing and submerging the whole of Southeast Asia, Africa will crash itself into Europe, North America will move farther west to get closer to Asia. What will the human civilization look like 5 million years from now ?

Little do we understand that the cataclysmic upheavals of our earth and even its total distintegration is so minuscule compared to the grand scheme of things in our universe. To appreciate the scale of our minuteness in the context of our universe, they say that if our galaxy, the Milky Way is as big as Washington D.C., our earth is equivalent to a grain of sand in it. If our earth were to disintegrate, it will be akin to crushing that grain of sand with little or no significance from our galaxy’s perspective. Furthermore, to think that our Milky Way galaxy with its billions of stars might look like a grain of sand from the entire universe’s perspective, we are treading into a dimension that is unfathomable, immeasurable, inexplicable, surpassing human comprehension.

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Big Bang Moments

Figure this scenario. Moses busy picking ticks and fleas from his favorite lamb one lazy afternoon by the green meadows near the river Jordan and a weird voice from the wilderness reverberates from nowhere revealing to him the origins of the universe “… you see, helium and hydrogen are the building blocks of the universe… nitrogen and oxygen are the building blocks of life ” Huh ? For someone who didn’t take up Chemistry 101 the language was a bit too complex and cryptic for the itinerant herdsman to comprehend so a much simpler version was put forth to make it more intelligible, one that collapses some 13.7 billion years spanning the creation and evolution of the universe into mere 7 earthly days. Yet despite the collosal abridgement, Moses’ Genesis 1 and the Big Bang Theory have startling similarities, at least in the chronology of events. The appearance of light, the formation of the firmament, land and water and eventually life forms on earth occur in the same order. The notion of man being created from dust and eventually returning to dust jibes with the scientific theory that we all came from the stars, from the combination and permutation of dust, or chemical elements, the building block of matter and life, particles and gas which were strewn into the cosmos, from the fallout from exploding stars that found their way into our earth’s atmosphere.

What is even more astounding is 2,000 years later, Moses’ descendants have the audacity to perform a reverse-engineering of creation of the universe and postulate a theory of its origin. To some people it is pure heresy to even doubt or second guess Moses’ pronouncements. Proving him wrong whether accidentally or on purpose would be tantamount a condemnation to eternal damnation. It could also be heretical to question the origins of other matter, like postulating origin of water , to say that water likewise came from the celestial bodies – comets and asteroids that constantly bombarded and collided with our earth in the formative stages of our solar system. If science and religion must not mix, those fearful of retribution from their earthly peers would be appeased to know that the Big Bang Theory was actually proposed by a shepherd of the flock, a Belgian priest and scientist by the name of Georges Lemaitre.

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Catholic Church’s view on use of the condom – sheer hypocrisy

The Catholic Church’s categorical refusal to accept any form of family planning other than the rythmn method or what it calls natural method can be described best by a single adjective – hypocritical. Let’s narrow down the argument to the simplest form of birth control – the use of condom. What is irreligious, amoral or unscriptural about the use of condom? Is it the religious belief that the man’s sperm is destined for only one place, the woman’s womb and nowhere else? Before the church and its supposedly chaste priests chastise anyone who uses the condom, it must answer the following questions first :

a. Do priests relieve themselves of their sexual desires through masturbation?
b. Is orgasm through oral sex between spouses sacrilegious?

We all know the answer to the first one. An unmarried man who doesn’t masturbate, priests included, is abnormal, likely to die of prostate cancer at an early age. It is common for males to have nocturnal emissions or wet dreams at an early age, some sort of nature’s signal to indicate that the prostate is in production mode. Strong sexual desires can also cause “blue balls” with pain in the testicles and abdomen. The one and only remedy for blue balls is ejaculation to release the sexual tension. The prostate is quite a mysterious organ. It requires to recycle or refresh itself regularly. It is fact that elderly men who quit on sex are likely to develop prostate cancer.

On the the second question, I have yet to hear a priest advise couples to abstain from oral sex because it is sin. Scripture says that as far as sex between couples is concerned, the sky is the limit . Sex is the glue that keeps marriage together. Scripture even says that a spouse must never say no to the sexual demands of the partner and must only abstain from sex upon mutual agreement
(1 Corinthians 7:3-5). The biblical words used are in fact forceful – the husband “owns” the wife’s body and vice-versa, the wife owns the husband’s body. So where does the church’s edict for abstinence during fertile period in the rythmn method come from?

Now the question is – what is the distinction between sperm ejaculated through masturbation, oral sex , to a condom sac? They all end up NOT in the woman’s womb. Why penalize the condom user with a much stiffer penalty? Did he kill a baby? Or is it the felonious coitus interruptus aspect of it ? What about couples who practice strictly oral sex, what does the church say about them? Are they in effect perpetual baby killers ? Are we really saying that once the gun is in, we must fire the darn bullet right into the womb, there are no other options and if we miss the target, we’re doomed to hell !

The argument that condoms encourage sexual promiscuity is equally ludicrous. It is akin to banning porno – no matter what you do and say, the decision for yes or no ultimately rests on the person’s moral convictions.

The priest who openly declared that anyone who advocates or uses condom is undeserving the holy communion better re-examine his hypocritical self and remember his theology. He better be sure that the others who ask for the host are absolutely and unequivocally deserving.