Fish On Fridays

Nothing symbolizes the supposed arbitrariness of religion to those predisposed towards skepticism towards religious belief than does the Catholic practice of eating fish on Fridays during the season of Lent. I’ll admit to having asked myself, especially on Good Friday, what connection there is between fish and the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. And then there is the philosophical paradox. If my soul is lost after I’ve eaten meat on a Lenten Friday, does that mean I’m free to commit worse sins without making my situation worse? But if the rule doesn’t really matter, then why follow it? And on and on and on and on…
Here’s what I do know. With the choice of fish options available to a 21st century American, eating fish on Fridays is about as small a “sacrifice” in a material sense as can be asked for. But honoring the rule does require me to make some conscious choices that run contrary to what the surrounding culture tells me are cool and sensible. And if I am unable to make this little tiny sacrifice, because I find it too inconvenient, or because I’m afraid to explain myself to others who don’t share my belief or who might think that I’m being just plain silly, then on what basis do I believe myself to be capable of taking a stand in more serious situations, when the choices might be a little harder and the stakes a little bit higher?
Slightly edited re-post of an April 6, 2007 original.

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Pat Crowley
12 years ago

“Nothing symbolizes the supposed arbitrariness of religion to those predisposed towards skepticism towards religious belief than does the Catholic practice of eating fish on Fridays during the season of Lent”
Actually I thought is was the use of religions by conservatives to justify theft, rape, slavery, imperialism, inequality, and murder. Oh, and tax policies benefiting the rich.

Pat Crowley
12 years ago

right… conservatism

Mike in Coventry RI
Mike in Coventry RI
12 years ago

“with the choise of fish options”
Sorry,Cafeteria Christians..
The bible will tell you that eating
any shellfish is an abomination,that includes shrimp,lobster,scalops,oysters
or anything made from shellfish like chowder or clamcakes.
Kind of limits Andy’s fish “options”
So SIN IF YOU WANT but eating shellfish is an SIN any day,not just on Good Friday.
{Rest of comment deleted.}

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