Why it’s so hard for me to be religious.

This is a personal issue I’ve been struggling with. And, by personal, I mean mine. I can’t possibly articulate, value or judge your beliefs. I can only wrestle with my own.

There’s an old joke amongst former Catholic School attendees; you can tell who went to Catholic School because they’re all atheists now. Many of my former classmates are, in fact, now atheist.

I always appreciated the foundation I received. I don’t resent my parents for sending me there, for baptizing me as an infant, for putting me through all the sacraments. Was it boring? Sure. Did I believe all of it? Maybe not. But, my grandmother and mother are Irish Roman Catholics, and I always loved the beauty and century old traditions associated with Catholicism. My dad, however, was not religious.

I remember I was 10, reading an article in YM Magazine, then running to my dad’s computer, firing up Print Shop, and making a sign for my bedroom door that read, “Be Young. Be Modern. Be Pro-Life.”

Do you have any idea what those words mean?

No?

Those are strong words. Until you know what they mean, you aren’t allowed to post them on your door like a mission statement.

I didn’t understand what my dad meant and I was humiliated. I took the sign off my door.

By the time I went off to college, I was on a spiritual break. I wasn’t involved in religion, unless you count worshiping at the alter of Rusted Root and PBR. It wasn’t until I got engaged and started planning my wedding when I was bitten with the OH BTW I’M CATHOLIC bug. I was determined to get married in the church I grew up in. I hadn’t attended in years. I didn’t know the priest. But I was so desperate for this tie to complete some sort of movie-like wedding scenario, that I forced it. We attended church to meet a quota, but I felt nothing, and stopped shortly after the ceremony.

Then we had kids, each of them baptized, and each of them sent off to the Catholic School in our town, my alma mater. I tried to be involved, but more and more, my personal beliefs stopped meshing with the words coming out of the pulpit. Nothing about it fit anymore. We left.

Today I passed our former church in the center of town, pulled off the road, and gasped.

At the end of mass, they would close with a prayer to end abortion and ask for volunteers to protest outside abortion clinics. I remember sitting in that pew and thinking of the face of every girl and woman who found themselves having to enter that clinic, and decided, that wasn’t my spiritual narrative.

I couldn’t and can’t politically mandate or spiritually judge this decision for other women, the same way I couldn’t and can’t apply those same standards to marriage equality.

We’ve long since switched churches, putting the kids in a new school with small class sizes and high quality education that is, yes, also Catholic, but also houses other faiths. We allow them the same foundation I was given, but with the added encouragement to explore, taste and question the hell out of things.

This morning as I dropped the boys off to class, schlepping in donuts, and cupcakes, and gift bags, and costumes. I bent over to draw a lightening bolt on Wyatt’s forehead with some eyeliner from my purse, as he excitedly stood in Andy’s Harry Potter outfit to represent a character from his favorite book, when a little girl told him that he shouldn’t read those books because they were about witchcraft.

Walking out, I heard two parents whispering about how they hated that the celebration of such a holiday was even allowed.

These people have every right to personally feel these things, the same way my old church had every right to place 3500 crosses in their front lawn.

But, I got into my car and realized, I don’t know what I am right now. I believe in something. I pray to someone. I champion social issues, and devour the hauntingly beautiful history of many religions.

But, my temple is Target on a Monday afternoon. My bible is Elton John’s Greatest Hits on vinyl.

And, I still don’t know how to explain those crosses to my children.

 

Facebook Comments

comments

Comments

  1. Ang says

    I’m glad you said it. I am sending my boys to a school affiliated with a church that I will not join due to their views on women’s roles within and outside the church. I feel like the other mothers and wives at school/church look down on me for thinking I am better then them (i know strange) but i don’t. I don’t feel better than anyone, my boys know it and the God I pray to knows it. God, my husband and our boys also know that my role in my family and our life, what I teach my boys and the things I contribute are of the same value as what my husband contributes…

    It’s a good school with good people, but when the pastor corners me to ask “if I am ready to join the rest of my family in the church” i want to punch him.

  2. says

    I’ve been working on a post of my own called “Why I Don’t Go to Church”. I struggle with this a lot. A LOT. Well said. And when it comes time to explain those crosses… the words will come.

  3. DM's Mommy says

    I grew up Catholic. Was raised that way and went along b/c that’s all I knew. As I got older I kept going to appease my Mom and b/c I truly wanted to have that typical “Hispanic Catholic” wedding. I got married to an Asian/Caucasion Atheist. Go figure:) My kids? Never been baptised or to Church. It’s not b/c I don’t want them to, I do, but it’s b/c I just don’t know what I believe in these days. Personally I’m at odds w/religion b/c I choose to be on birth control, I chose to have pre-marital sex, I chose to live w/my husband before marriage, and I believe no one can tell me as a woman what to do with my body nor should I tell anyone else. Those are my beliefs that I refuse to impose on anyone else. I also don’t agree with anything (whatever you want to call it) that would take my Father so young so quickly (dying less than 48-hrs after going into the hospital), giving my Mother Breast Cancer when murderers live disease free for life, or my husband having Brain Cancer and back-to-back FULL hip surgeries ALL before he’s 31. I could go on and on but the bottom line for me is this: despite what my life has handed me I still believe in something. I still pray, I still am a “holiday” Catholic :), I still think I should take my kids to Church and there are still things that resonate within me. But I feel that I want my kids to have the choice to pray to who they want to. Holidays are for celebration, candy, presents, family, friends, etc. to me. If that makes me wrong in some eyes: so be it. In the end my kids are happy, healthy, beautiful, well adjusted and that’s ALL I care about. Your kids are happy, healthy, and beautifully adjusted children too: you’re doing a DAMN FINE JOB! Keep it up!

  4. Paula C says

    I completely understand, having grown up in a Catholic home. I was the first to drop out of it at 16, saying I couldn’t go anymore to a church that told me how to believe, when I questioned everything they stood for. I pray as well, but I am no longer religious. My friend has the right of it. My religioun is kindness, love, equality.

  5. Cheryl S. says

    SO right there with you. My daughter is doing her first communion in May. I went to Catholic school and I still love what the church is supposed to stand for (love, treating everyone equally). HATE the “doctrine” of it. I support basically all the social issues that the Catholic church decries. I don’t plan to have Jess do any more religious education after she does her communion. I want her to question everything. I want her to THINK about what she believes and most religions don’t allow for that.

  6. liza says

    to quote a favorite character of mine, Amy Farrah Fowler from Big Bang Theory, ” I don’t object to the concept of a deity, but I’m baffled by the notion of one that takes attendance. “

    • April says

      I totally agree with you on this entire entry. And to quote Madonna, “I don’t practice the Catholicism of my childhood, I found it too limiting.”

  7. Nicole says

    I grew up Catholic but was always taught by my parents to think outside the box (I once left my confirmation class in tears because some of the other kids said that since I was pr0-choice I was a murderer). Honestly, I don’t know where my faith would be right now if I didn’t attend a Jesuit college. In the Jesuits I found my kind of Catholic . . . open-minded, down-to-earth, always up for a good debate. Communing with the Jesuits saved my faith, and helped me to realize that almost all change that’s happened within the Church has come from the bottom up. Will I someday grow sick of the politicizing from the pulpit that oh-so-frequently happens in parish services? Maybe — I refuse to say a “prayer for traditional marriage” and walked out in protest when a priest compared Obama to the devil during a homily. But for now I’m sticking it out, finding peace and inspiration in the words and traditions and challenging my church at least as much as my church challenges my faith.

  8. Jana Frerichs says

    Yep, tough one. I have gotten to where I am spiritual, but I no longer will adhere to a doctrine set forth by organized religion. I believe in God and I believe in Jesus Christ, and the God I believe in is all about love, equality, and forgiveness. He does not stand in judgement. And he is not a republican. I feel for you, explaining those crosses is going to be hard. I remember when I was a teenager and my sister who is 11 years younger than me came from daycare telling us she heard from the daycare lady that President Clinton kills babies. A 4 year old has no concept of what abortion is! To her, all she could picture was president clinton killing babies! And it’s the same with your church. It’s all manipulation. And I personally think it’s sick. So that’s my thought for the day, sorry to get on my soapbox

    • LinzJupiter says

      @ Jana Frerichs — **highfives** on the ‘God is not a Republican’ thing.

      Brittany — as so many ladies have eloquently said it already, you are not alone. My mom had a similar experience: Catholic from birth, and traumatized at age 5 when she was taught in catechism that babies who aren’t baptized who die go to limbo.

      That said, I’d like to get some love for the various parts of the Catholic church who ARE working for change (nuns are pretty kickass), and the Pope keeps trying to muzzle them.

      http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/06/01/american-nuns-fight-back-against-vatican-crackdown.html

      You go, girls. Seriously.

      I definitely don’t want to start fires on the political side of things, but I was really offended last week with a CNN article talking about how the religious right doesn’t approve of Obama’s personal religion. Saying things like he’s not a true believer, not fully converted, etc etc etc.

      Why? Because his brand of religion is my brand of religion too. I would describe myself as a devout Anglican (Episcopal to my gals south of the 49th) who happens to be pro-choice, pro-birth control, and pro-gay marriage (or, as I like to call it, marriage). So, by extension, they’re calling me a heathen. And I am NOT a heathen. I love God. He loves me. Right now we’re not really on speaking terms. But he is my Father, so I know we’ll be cool eventually.

      Canada is far from a utopia, but I feel lucky to live in a country that allows my religious and social views to coexist harmoniously. Both the government and the Anglican church here bless same-sex unions. I have a feeling that if I lived in the U.S., I’d be messed up from thinking I was going to hell all the time.

      • Jenee says

        “But he is my Father, so I know we’ll be cool eventually”

        Awesome line right here – LOVE THIS! This is how I feel about God, too.

        I am a struggling Catholic, as well. Even though I struggle with certain areas of the RELIGION, there’s so much good in there, too. I hate to say it’s all bad even though I don’t agree with everything.

        I wish everyone could love each other the way God loves us. If it were this simple we wouldn’t be talking about this, I suppose.

  9. Kim says

    I say bullshit to any religion who isn’t open to all – Baptised Mormon at the all knowing age of 8, and it was a pain in the arse to get my name off those records.

  10. says

    would it be weird if I said “amen” to that post?? Lol. My parents are also Irish Roman Catholic (I really feel that you need capitals for that) and I grew up with catholic school and was married in the church and all the kids are baptised, but like you, I don’t go anymore and don’t really consider myself catholic because, well, too many reasons to list here. But I say if the church can publicize it’s feelings on abortion by putting up a graveyard where children can see it, and fair to them, it’s their property, than you can dress your kid in any costume you want. He’s your property, so to speak.
    One of my biggest problems with the Catholics is that they are so quick to judge if you don’t agree with their views and that their motto of forgiveness only seems to apply to a few situations.
    Sigh. see, I’m already ranting. You’re brave to post about religion. It brings out the ranter in al of us.

  11. Vera says

    Ex-Catholic here. I still love the “show” put on by the Catholic church. The incense, the pretty stained glass, the traditional music. But that’s where it ends. As a woman, I could never consider myself to be truly a part of an organization that feels that I am less holy than a man. And I could NEVER, never, EVER, shame women for their choices, or gay folks for loving one another. I personally think that Religion divides us. It’s another way to say, “you aren’t like me, so I don’t like or respect you”. I still struggle with wishing I could find some faith that would fill the void, but I would rather be “spiritual” than be a part of something I don’t believe in.
    Also, my mother explained abortion to me as a small child, because we lived in an area where there were a few women’s clinics that gathered a lot of protesters. Even as a child I couldn’t imagine why people would be so mean to those who were obviously dealing with some heavy things.

  12. says

    I grew up in a Lutheran church…went to school there until 4th grade when my mom decided she didn’t agree with the way women were treated and they were not allowed to vote on things in the church so she pulled me out.

    Other than going to junior high “youth group” at my friends church just so I could make out with boys behind the building I’ve stayed far away from church….It’s not that I don’t “believe” or maybe it is that I don’t “believe”…I’m kind of just at an “I don’t know”….and I’m totally fine that way.

    I feel like I live day by day in my own little bubble…but it’s a happy little bubble…my kids are happy, I’m happy …..and that’s all that matters to me right now. I feel that if I want things in this life to happen…I need to make them happen…I’m not going to sit back and wait for some higher power to change my life…If I want change…I work my ass off to create it!

    I could go on and on and on….but just know that I totally get what you’re saying….amen girl! Amen!

  13. Britni says

    I recently converted to “agnostic” after about a 2 year transition period of “struggling Christian”. I still haven’t admitted to my religious friends because I fear they will judge me. But you want to know the strangest part? I feel like a better and more honest person now that I have come to terms with my true beliefs. I don’t feel guilty anymore that I don’t agree with religions and the many intolerances that come with them and I know I can still be a wonderful, generous, caring person and loving mother without believing in God. Thanks for the post, I appreciate it.

  14. Nicole says

    Do you watch The New Normal? If not, I recommend at least watching this week’s. Ryan Murphy’s take on Catholicism shines through in a surprisingly thoughtful way.

  15. Lyndsey says

    My mom, dad, brother and I went to the same church for the first 6 or so years of my life … until they put the 3,500 crosses on the front lawn. My mother has said it was one of the hardest things to try and “explain” to my 6-year-old self. We left the church shortly after.

    I’m not sure how I would explain it to my *future, possible* children. Should they even know? I guess I’ll worry about that when it comes …

  16. says

    Just know that you are not alone. I have no idea what I believe anymore or what to teach my children. Except to love and accept everyone. We all deserve to be loved.

  17. Goose says

    I too am the daughter of Catholic parents. We went to church every Sunday until I was seven.
    When my seven year old self asked my mother what would happen if we didn’t go to church to pray, she told me god was everywhere and I didn’t need to pray in church for god to hear me.

    I wish sometimes I could belong, but I cannot be apart of any group that shames, shuns, scorns, and rejects anyone that doesn’t conform.

  18. says

    I’ve found that it is possible to believe in God, to believe in Jesus, to believe in the Bible, to be spiritual, to maintain a high level of moral integrity…and to still not be religious. It’s not about believing a certain way or doing certain things out of guilt. It’s about simply living by faith, believing that life is about something bigger than myself, it’s about loving others NO MATTER WHAT. I don’t abide by a strict book of rules because I have to or else. That’s religion. I believe and live by my faith because it makes me a better person. I hope you can weed through the confusion and find your peace in what you believe and why. Good for you for not settling.

  19. Jd says

    Time to find a new church. I’m a christian and don’t always agree with what others who call themselves christians say and do. Jesus came to show us love and forgiveness and that should Always come first. Never judgement…I am no better than anyone else! I think that is where so many go wrong. Harry Potter is awesome and parents afraid of their kids reading and being entertained should all be ashamed of themselves!

  20. says

    I was raised Catholic too and attended a Catholic high school and grew up to be agnostic. I don’t really know what to tell your kids about the crosses but I have a 14 year old daughter who has started to go to church on Sunday with her best friend’s family. We have always been REALLY open with her and encouraged her to ask LOTS OF QUESTIONS and explained that she will have to decide which, if any, religion is “hers”.

    Her BFF’s parents did something I thought was really cool though and called me to ask that it was actually okay with us that she be going because she didn’t what to “overstep” when she found out we were agnostic. She seemed really surprised by how nonchalant I was by the whole thing.

  21. says

    I miss church. I love church. But I just can not justify going to a church that teaches I’m a sinner simply because I’m a liberal. In the part of the country where I live it is very hard to find one that doesn’t do that.

  22. Susan says

    I think you’ve described your struggle here so eloquently. Thank you for giving me some perspective. As an atheist, I tend to get all in a huff about religion, without ever thinking that people who attend a certain church may not share ALL of it’s beliefs.

    If you don’t mind the suggestion, I’ve always found the Methodists to be the least objectionable of the organized, Protestant, Christian churches. They have a lot of the ceremony of the Catholic church (infant baptism,etc), but as far as I can tell, they are very open minded about pretty much everything. -hug-

  23. says

    You described the struggle so well. My advice (as a complete stranger who perhaps knows nothing) is to go back to the beginning and get comfortable there before trying to really find a specific direction. You believe in God, so pray. Some call it meditation, but as I believe in a literal Father in Heaven, I call it prayer, as in- a direct link to Him. Pray every day and look for God in your life. It’s such an obscure thing that brings real, tangible differences.
    Good luck and thanks for sharing.

  24. says

    I have a similar struggle. I am an Anglican ( I think you call it Episcopalian), was baptised as an adult but am baptising my children while they are still babies. It’s a pretty broadminded church but they still have positions on things like abortion and homosexuality that I just cannot share. I am eternally torn about it. There isn’t a day that goes by I don’t worry about this dichotomy! Argh.

  25. says

    Great post, Brittany.

    I was raised vaguely protestant and my husband was Catholic (in school and ceremony, mostly). These days, I am atheist and he is agnostic, at best.

    I want to make sure my children have the information and freedom to make their own choices, but I am learning that the absence of religion doesn’t necessarily do that. Yesterday my husband joked that he & I should dress up as Adam & Eve, and my kids didn’t know who that was.

    Despite the definite break in my personal connection with god and religion, I was horrified that my kids don’t even have enough information for a cultural reference as basic as the garden of Eden.

    • lorikall says

      Check out the book Raising Freethinkers: A Practical Guide for Parenting Beyond Belief. While non believers certainly don’t want to indoctrinate their kids with religion, it is still important for kids to know some of the basics of all the major religions. In particular, they need to be familiar with the religions that have helped shape Western culture, in order to understand the world around them. We discuss Bible stories with our small children the same way we talk about Greek mythology and they actually find it very interesting. We are working up to explaining the ideology (slowly). If they are armed with knowledge, they will be better protected from the very things that non believers fear – religious fanaticism, intolerance and closed-mindedness.

  26. SwingCheese says

    I, too, was raised Catholic, went to Catholic school, etc. I was very lucky, however: I had some very open-minded religious ed teachers. While I was exposed to the church’s position on social issues, I was encouraged to question, to argue, to read the bible for myself and think about it. I was taught that while God is infallible, man is not, and the bible is man’s interpretation of God’s word, so it isn’t meant to be read unquestioningly. No one ever told me that I was inferior to men, and no one ever told me I was going to Hell for questioning doctrine. (Sadly, I realize this is not the norm.) When I left the church, I did so because of a basic spiritual conflict, not a doctrinal one. I practiced Hinduism for about a decade. My husband and I were married in a Hindu ceremony. But after my son was born, and after wrestling with a particularly vicious bout of depression, I felt like there was something missing. Not so much that faith was missing, but that community was missing. So I started going Catholic again. I go every Sunday, sometimes my son comes, sometimes he doesn’t, and I doubt my husband ever will. That’s fine with me. See, the version of Catholicism I grew up with allows for questioning, allows for individual interpretation. I am allowed to be pro-life, pro-birth control, and pro-teaching comprehensive sex ed in schools (because honestly, education is far more effective than protest). I’ve always had the belief that all is one, no matter which God you pray to, so there is no need to judge others, a belief which was fostered by my religious ed teachers. I feel awful for people who have had such difficult experiences with the Catholic church, because my experience has been rather positive. A few weeks ago, the priest gave a homily about meditation and transcendence, applying Buddhist principals to the recitation of the rosary, but nothing about anyone going to hell, or that any politician is the devil. That sort of hatred and bigotry does not remind me of my Catholic church. My experiences gave me a very strong faith in God, an acceptance of other beliefs, and a calling to care for others. These are the aspects of Catholicism that I want my son to absorb. This is why I went back. It is a travesty that organized religion is more often used to divide than to unite.

  27. says

    Love this, and recognize so much of myself in it. My grandfather was a deacon, and my family is full of errant Irish Catholics (though some are still very devout). I don’t identify myself with the church anymore, but looking back, I love the tradition. What I see in the rearview does not mesh with dead baby crosses.

  28. says

    I wrote about feeling like this a long time ago. I totally agree with you, and I’ll just leave you with one thought about how to tackle this with your kids: Religion and spirituality have nothing to do with each other. Religion is man made. Spirituality is innate.

  29. Ashley says

    I have a disdain for abortion just like I do for child abuse. I would have a hard time explaining those crosses as well.

  30. Jojo says

    The hubs and I were both raised Catholic and now attend a “Diet” Baptist Church. It focuses on Jesus and the Bible. It’s truly changed my life and views and I feel so much better about my relationship with God than I did as a guilt ridden Catholic. Jason Gray has a song called “More Like Falling in Love” that very eloquently describes my feelings on God/Jesus/the Church. I won’t post all the lyrics, but this is my fav part… I need more than A truth to believe, I need a truth that lives Moves and breathes, To sweep me off my feet, it’s gotta be More like falling in love Than something to believe in, More like losing my heart Than giving my allegiance… Anyway, I encourage you to take a listen – it’s awesome!!

  31. Tom B says

    When I was in my teens, we were at ‘church (which I later learned was ‘The Catholic Church, we just called it ‘church’) there was an advertisement being paid for to speak against abortion.

    This was the mid to late 80s. My mom went to put ‘the xx family’ on it. Much to her shock and mine I spoke up and said ‘please put individual names, and do not put mine on it. I don’t want faith legislated’

    The day I moved out of the house at the age of 19 was the last time I went to ‘church’ on a Sunday every week. Now, it’s mainly Christmas when I’m home because I don’t want to upset my mom.

    Personally I have four beautiful children, and we fought for each one. My oldest is eleven and was a test tube baby because they said no way we could have kids any other way. I got flack for that, see, they fertilized multiple eggs and then only put two in, so we killed babies.

    But if ‘god’ is real and all, then why did we suddenly get three more the old fashioned way after that? shouldn’t I be punished for killing kids?

    I am against abortion as a form of birth control, but these ham handed idiots who legislate faith or use faith as a weapon to get in power legislate away legitimate medical concerns too. I admire someone who can find out the human growing in their body has no brain and will die the instant it’s born and want to go through with it all, but if given that prognosis I’d sure rather end the pregnancy vs. spend another six months on a death watch. Anti-Abortion laws stop you from doing that.

    i’ll stop rambling now :)

  32. says

    I don’t think I ever realized how much I didn’t fit into the Catholic Church until I was forced to have a D&E when I was 22 weeks pregnant because I had severe pre-eclampsia and my life was in danger. The guilt I felt because of my Catholic upbringing was insane. Instead of focusing on healing and grieving for the baby that took me 4 years to conceive, I felt guilty and worried that I was going to hell. Even though I didn’t want any of it to happen and even though I would take it all back in an instant if I could. To think that if I was in a Catholic hospital, they would have wasted time and risked my life by transferring me to another hospital instead of saving my life makes me wonder whether the Catholic Church has any idea what they are talking about.

  33. Beth says

    Why don’t the babies have a choice? Are those of us who are already here more important than those that don’t yet have a voice?

    • Amy says

      I don’t think thats the point. I don’t agree with abortions yet I don’t want to dictate my opinion on others. In Australia we have an opposition leader (a man) who firmly believes in anti-abortion policies, and while I may agree with his personal opinion, I will never vote for a party that dictates what I can and cannot do with my body. I refuse to allow our country to go backwards, giving women less choices, less rights. And so while you may believe that babies have a voice, you only have control over your body and your babies voice. Leave that very hard decision to the women who own it.

  34. Christina Boggs says

    This post is just speaking to me on so many levels. I was also raised Catholic… I attended parochial school and went through all of the sacraments. My children attend Catholic School and we are ‘active’ in our parish but so often I feel like I’m going through the motions b/c it is what I know to be right… as far as the order of how things “should go.” Like you said, I want my kids to have good formative years and unfortunately our public schools are lacking. I think they are getting an amazing education and I’m thrilled to have them in the school but like you said, I still don’t know how to explain these hot topics to them. I’m just glad to know that I’m not alone. So many of the parents are so devout that it is hard to broach the topic within the confines of a mom’s night out. Thank you for your honestly, candidness and humor!

  35. says

    We also grew up Catholic, but left several years ago because we weren’t comfortable with the way the church handled the priest sexual abuse scandals. We now attend a non-denominational church and their motto is to practice a relationship, not religion. In fact our pastor just gave a sermon last week about why “religion” (just people making up rules on their own accord and saying you have to follow those rules in addition to what the Bible actually says in order to be a good person) is bad because it gets in the way of what really matters, a relationship with God. I would encourage you to sit down and read some of the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible because it’s written in modern English. I’ve come far in my own faith journey since we switched to this version. We are also starting a small group with a few other young families and having a high school student volunteer to watch our children for service hours (since our group is affiliated with our church) so the adults can study and question in a more comfortable setting. It sounds like you might benefit from something similar. Best of luck!

  36. Julia Harts the Man says

    Thank you!
    As I struggle with my recent diagnosis of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma it is even harder to explain to people why I am not “praying”.
    It is so hard to explain what I believe (angels and demons yes, homophobic god no), but I feel like I can just send people this link and say “This! This is how I feel!”.
    And as I have every religion under the sun praying for me, I feel like I can at least say that not one religion will fix me.
    Though the Baptists will probably take credit. ;)

    http://www.littlebluehouseontheprairie.blogspot.com

  37. Mommy says

    Have you explored the episcopalian faith? I couldn’t be happier with my church. Inclusive, progressive and welcoming to ALL people and views, and also full or the tradition and ritual that feels like home. Maybe visit a episcopal church and see what you think?

    Just wanted to say that you are brave, so well spoken, and you seem like a kick ass mom. Good for you for exploring this and being strong enough to share that journey with all of us.

  38. PB says

    Dang. You really said it. I struggle with this too because I grew up with a very liberal, progressive minister who taught me to think critically and a church that was socially liberal. We viewed Jesus and his message to be about taking care of others, less the things we were NOT supposed to be doing. I find my church becoming more and more conservative, more constricting… and I find myself becoming more progressive. I want structure, tradition and faith for my children – but, not hatred and judgment. Finding the balance is a hard task.

  39. Elaine says

    I loved this post. We have a church in my town that does the cross thing too. I have always ignored it (irritated about it, but ignored it). Until one day my 5 year olds bus driver explained to the entire bus of kids that it was representing the murdered babies. I LOST MY MIND. Last I checked, I was my job as a parent to have those discussions with my children when I deemed it necessary. NOT at the age of 5. UGH!

  40. Donnamay says

    You’re very brave to raise this issue. I was raised Methodist – we were sent to Sunday School every Sunday mainly so my Mother could get us out of the house for 2 hours. I haven’t been a regular Church goer since I was 12, but I still believe in something greater than little ole me. I say prayers and give thanks to “him”. I felt very guilty that I didn’t at least expose my kids to some type of religion – but they’ve grown up to be good and kind (and liberal). My moment of disgust with “religion” came when several “Christian” FB friends called THE POTUS Barack Obama a ni**er. Obviously they are no longer my friends. That’s not God’s way. UGH!

  41. Dewords says

    I am not sure I can articulate how you stole the words from my mind… I am too Roman Catholic. My grandmother was actually raised in a convent, but not sure the reasons surrounding it. She needed up with EIGHT children. Needless to say when we were born we were all baptized Catholic. I have chosen to do the same for my children. We decided that we didn’t love the schools in our area, and they attend Catholic Elementary school. With the election and all the fighting over us in Ohio, and the countless hours of commercials we listened to, I was struck the most when one candidate was quoted over and over talking about MY rights. I immediately thought about my beliefs and that it was such a personal decision… Long and short of it was, it’s made me really think about what were teaching our children. Are we really teaching them acceptance, love, peace, tolerance, and all that religion is supposed to offer us? When we have biased against gay love, and anyone who doesn’t abide by rules someone who could never be in our position has set up? Just game me reason to pause and really consider what we’re teaching….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>