There are two things that you don't discuss at dinner parties-politics and religion. In blogging, there is that same rule from my discoveries as a blogger. Well, I am going to break that rule today. I'm going to talk to you about religion.
First, let me tell you about my relationship with God.
I was born and raised Catholic. I went to CCD, which is our equilivant of Sunday school. It was on Tuesday but it still had that Sunday School vibe. Most of that was sitting there, and having to listen to an old maid tell you why you were going to hell, and drone on and on about what you should do in life. It was a very grim experience as an early teenager. Needless to say, once I made my confirmation I had no intentions to ever return to Catholic mass.
During that time, I was romantically involved with a mormon. The relationship didn't work out for many reasons, but one was religon. His religious experences were different than my own. It was three hours-mass, Sunday school, and the young men went in one room, while the women went in the other. They discussed various issues about the Mormon faith, or otherwise the Church of Latter Day Saints. Basically, they believe that there is an extra part of the Bible. I went to a couple of Mormon church services, and thought that the experience was interesting. I have never seen people happy about their relationship with God and happy going to church. It was mindblowing.
My best friend's parents are ECLA Lutheran ministers. And believe it or not, they are the most openminded people that I have ever met. Out of pure curiousity, I asked my friend to let me tag along with them to their Dad's church. The experience, compared to my Catholic ones, was mind blowingly different. The format of it was the same, two readings, a sermon, peace and communion. However, instead of a bunch of elderly people and children forced to be there there was people of all ages wanting to be together and joining in celebration for their love and believe in God. Their mother is the pastor at a college campus nearby, which is an extremely open enviornment that promotes curiousity. I have also found myself to be a regular at her Sunday gathering as well.
During my exploration with religon, I have discovered something. I believe in God. I love God, and consider myself to be a practicing Christian. I am not sure if I believe in some of the things that my religious school teachers have told me, but I do believe that there is a God out there somewhere.
I do believe that being religous has very negative connotations in the meaning of the word. For starters, you see people who have strict believes use religion as their reasoning for not having an open-mind. Religion shouldn't be your reasoning for not believing in things like gay marriage; bigotry is. When people think of someone who is religious, they think of someone who is constantly that nagging voice who tells them to always do the right thing. Well, that is so not true.
I am surely not considered to be a pure innocent looking Catholic girl. I have done things that my Catholic school teachers would frown upon. However, I am religous. I sometimes worship on Sundays. I am not perfect, but I do believe in God. I think that is what should matter. Believing in God is something that many often believe as being this perfect litle innocent person who forces their believes onto someone, and if you don't believe in that, then you are not going to Heaven. You wait til you're married to have sex. Hell, you are married by a Catholic priest. However, that is not the complete aspect of being religious. I feel like you shouldn't be afraid of loving God for fear of being labelled as the little church person.
We as a society need to take away the negative connotations of being religion and loving God. God is someone who is a great person. He is open, and accepting. At least I think that He is. I think that the true meaning of organized religion is to promote all of this--without judgement.
As for me, I probably will remain Christainity. My grandma will have a fit, but that's okay. When I have children I do not plan to force them into a world of religion but rather give them a choice to do whatever they want with religion. Instead of bombarding them with what the shoulds, I will promote them to be curious. I think that is what truely matters in life.