There is no inherent antagonism between the natural and religious, material and spiritual sides of human nature. All are deeply integrated with each other in a true proportion, because, natural and religious, material and spiritual aspects of human life originate from one Supreme Creative Power.
From the view point of religious perception, the sole purpose of human life is to achieve human perfection in this world that comes through God-consciousness and following this in precept and example, results in the ultimate outcome of eternal peace of paradise in the hereafter.
To attain this supreme goal of life, man is not compelled to renounce the world, and no austerities are required to open the secret door of spiritual purification. No pressure is exerted upon man to completely ignore the human needs and natural demands in order to reach God-consciousness. If it were so, then the creation of matter and putting the elements of natural needs in human being would be meaningless - rather cruelty, because it implies that man is compelled to do what is not within the ken of his God-given power.
This is the reason why Islam provides us a natural way of life imbued with all material and religious, natural and spiritual aspects. Materially, Islam urges its followers to earn money as much as possible, and from the spiritual perspective, it wants them to spend 2.5% of their earnings on the needy poor persons on an annual basis. It provides man with the opportunity to fulfill his natural call and desires. On the other hand, he is supposed to fulfill his desires within the circle prescribed by the last and final prophet Mohammad (saws), lest they should cross the spiritual limits. In short, the co-ordination of nature and spirit is reflected in every aspect of Islamic teachings.
Contrary to the teaching of Islam which give due weight age to man’s material and physical needs, the present day Christianity, though claiming to be of divine origin, seems not to believe in the combination of nature and religion. It does not allow for its religious authorities to marry or fulfill their sexual needs through a lawful and civilized way assuming that it is an obstacle in the way of spiritual gain. Is that a divine idea? “Surely not” must be the answer! Why? Because, if it were prohibited, Prophet Abraham and Moses (pbuh) would not have married, and would not have had children. But they were married and so were so many other prophets except a few such as Jesus whom Christians follow. They take Jesus’s exception to be the common norm for people.
If they are asked “Do you believe in the Bible?” They wholeheartedly agree.
Now let us show them an example from the Bible itself. These lines from the Bible show Jesus himself confirms the validity of the Judaic law:
“Think not I am come to destroy the law and the prophets, I am not come to destroy but to fulfill.”
If the matter of marriage were an exception, Jesus (pbuh) must have clarified it, but the verse is silent in this regard. The matter of fact is that this merely a man-made idea. Moreover they were much more careful, spiritual self-controlling people than their later adherents who are charged with the duty of baptizing others for their salvation as Christians. Yet those prophets who exemplified the very acme of human creation fulfilled their material and spiritual needs to the fullest degree. If they did not do so how could they exhort others to follow their example? They married and had children and a family.
To follow a way that is contrary to their preaching and practice and yet to claim that we are the prophets’ true followers is not acceptable.
However, the Christian community prohibited their priests and nuns from marriage which resulted in a terrible outcome. This practice of celibacy was a later addition to the teachings of Jesus and nowhere had he prescribed that they do so.
Sex is embedded in human nature and constitution. How much can one suppress it? It is a natural element. It must be fulfilled either in a lawful and civilized way, i.e. marriage or in an unlawful and animal way, i.e. adultery and whoredom. Thus the priests are forced on account of his vows of celibacy to resort to unnatural means to fulfill their sexual proclivities.
It might be recalled that the church in America had to pay a compensation of over a billion dollars to youngsters and their parents who were sexually abused as children by the priests. They also had to apologies for their deeds. What does this show? This shows that natural tendencies cannot be dammed up. They will find a way out, naturally or unnaturally. The real solution is to allow priests and nuns to marry so that such aberrations are kept under check..
The details that I am giving are not out of prejudice but to show up a true mirror to those of our community as well as to others so that they see the light and reform themselves. It was hidden from public view the goings on in churches, parishes and confession boxes, but a series of reports have revealed the ugly side of Christianity. One can read many a time in news papers the sex scandals going on in the churches.
The deviant sexual behavaviour with the boys and nuns by the priests of the Roman Catholic Church is on expected lines because human nature finds natural and unnatural ways of expressing itself. If natural means for giving vent to one’s sexuality are not available, anyone, let alone priests, try to find unnatural ways of expressing their sexual urges. But the sad part of the story is that is all avoidable, if only priests were given the option of marrying while ministering to the faithful.
Recently in February 2009 sister Jesme (52) a former nun of Kerala, has exposed the unholy environment within the so-called sacred precincts of the church. Sister Jesme, who holds a doctorate in English from Calicut University, could not help suppressing the call of her conscience and wrote her autobiography “Amen”, which is a detailed account of the sexual perversions of the priests, held in high regard by the laity for their religious knowledge.
The underling thesis of the book is that Christian institutes built on celibacy are teeming with homosexual and heterosexual proclivities. In the book she claims to be harassed sexually by priests. Her description in the state’s nunneries has created a sensation. Some people are decrying her move to expose the wsron-doing in the Church. Others are supporting here wholeheartedly and calling for an urgent cleaning up of the system of appointing and retaining priests.
She thinks by exposing what goes on inside the convents, she has performed her duty towards the society. This is not enough but it is a beginning. In one incident she narrates her own experience with a lesbian nun who forcibly slept with her. She could not do anything to complain because it was same-sex problem. But more surprising incidents were in store for her.
She also describes that a priest, she looked up to with respect, put off his all the clothes, stark naked before her and compelled her to do so, and at last masturbated in front of her in his presbytery in Bangalore.
She is of the opinion that what happens outside can also take place in convents. They are not spiritual enough to refrain themselves from evil. They are affluent. Affluence brings power. And when one wields power, one is exposed to worldly pleasures which include sex.
This is the real face of the churches and convents which are supposed to promote only spiritual feelings and gain pleasure of God Almighty. They have nothing to do with matter and worldly gain. Sister Jesme’s book is not the only event in this regard, but this is the latest in a long series of scandals afflicting the catholic churches in Kerala and elsewhere.
Apart from that, on February 11, 2009, Sister Josephine, a nun in the Daughters of Mary congregation in Thiruvananthapuram, was found dead. People alleged that she committed suicide due to sexual harassment.
On November, 19, 2008, two priests and a nun were arrested by CBI on the charge of killing a 21-year-old nun, sister Abhaya 16 years ago. She was found dead inside a well in the Pius Tenth Convent in Kottayam.
On August 11, 2008 Sister Anoopa Mary, 21, was found dead in her room in convent in Kollam. Her father, an employee at the Kollam Bishop’s House, alleged that she was sexually abused by her superiors.
Interestingly, the church still considers these terrible events trivial. Perhaps the priests have forgotten the sole purpose of the church. Therefore, they do not take these events into consideration. It may be that despite the storm of scandals engulfing the seminaries in India and abroad, the priests and the bishops fail to acknowledge the fact that if they make allowance for nature by giving permission to priests to marry, most of such sexual aberrations would be nipped in the bud. This is the reason that other religions such as Islam and Hinduism do not have so many scandals because they allow their clergy to marry.
In short, God has embedded some natural facts in the essence of human beings. They must not be denied. Natural inclinations and moral corruption may overwhelm the most stoic person if we deny the animal side of human nature. And man, instead of attaining spiritual perfection and God-consciousness becomes a toy in the hands of Satan, and consequently falls from the pinnacle of moral decency and human value systems under the beck and call of wolves howling at the door.