I usually enjoy Kevin Rafferty’s social commentary, but his views expressed in his April 11 article, “The pope’s leadership crisis,” need to be challenged. His assertion that the story of Jesus “requires less suspension of belief than Harry Potter” is ridiculous. To truly believe that Jesus was the son of the all-powerful god that created the universe, who will return someday to rule the world, requires putting aside everything we know about history, science, human nature and reality. Nobody is expected to believe in Potter’s magic tricks, but the church demands we accept Jesus’ miracles as fact.
Likewise, Rafferty contends that Jesus’ resurrection “showed that he was God.” There is no evidence for this event, except ancient books that do not even give the same account. The fact that so many believe it now only demonstrates the power of the church to indoctrinate. Rafferty describes Jesus’ life as a “love story,” but the underlying narrative is really about cruelty, disdain and injustice.
God condemned humanity for a single misdeed by his own first creations, and offered forgiveness only after sadistically drowning every living thing on Earth, orchestrating genocidal warfare, and overseeing untold human suffering that outweighs the pain of his son’s crucifixion immeasurably.
And forgiveness is hardly unconditional: We are commanded to accept Jesus as our savior; otherwise, instead of the promise of heavenly bliss, we, and the vast majority of people who have ever lived, remain condemned to eternal torture in Hell. In our information age, a growing number of people recognize this as a far-fetched fable. Rafferty should consider that this might be the main reason why so many people are leaving the Catholic Church.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.