Sunday, August 8, 2010

Religion Dating

I saw my falling out with the catholic church as a bad breakup. I committed myself to the catholic church, I stood by it because they were seen as the moral choice for me. My whole family was catholic and we were a family that promoted love for others, and acceptance. I may have never been the best catholic, but I tried. I went to mass, repented for my sins, and tried to lead a life helping others and making god proud.

Looking back, I see that I was a fool. My religion turned on me. I was practicing a life of acceptance, and virtue, but my church suddenly became crass, and unaccepting of me. This was long before my sister Caitlin ever went public with her sexuality though. The sermons began to change in demeanor, and suddenly my family was seen as "bad". My parents had divorced, and remarried--and our Father led sermons saying that once you had betrayed your vows to your marriage and god, you had just purchased your ticket to hell. But I consider all 4 of my parents as upstanding citizens, who have taken rescue children in before and opened our homes and hearts to them, who have given their resources and their time and put them into the community, who work with children daily and promote kindness. This began to puzzle me, because I didnt feel that my fmaily should be subjegated to hell, like our Father said.

During the '04 elections, the catholic church began to get a little dicey. Sermons about sexuality, abortion, and lifestyle choices became commonplace. The church turned from a loving, accepting place to worship god and his glory, to a stonch Republican frenzy. I remember sitting in mass and watcing my mother latch and unlatch her watch over and over with discomfort. I suddenly questioned my sisters sexuality and defensively thought about how I could protect her from the catholic community.

There was no conversation about religion, the whole family kept to themselves about the matter and carried on going to mass. Suddenly, my family fell together at the dinner table, and we talked for hours about God, and religion, and mass, and the election. We suddenly, as a team, realized that this wasnt a fit for our family anymore.

My mom tried to go back a few times, but eveutally gave up.

I compare this to a break up in the sense, that we were devoted, and we invested, and accpeted this into our life and our home, only to be betrayed. The unconditional love that was portrayed, was only a mere fallacy. After a breakup, one must take time for themselves, and question thier identity, and decipher if the breakup was their fault. Standing by my beliefs, my politics, and my sister, I vowed to never go back.

I than began to explore other options about a year ago. I started reading....tons. I questioned what I wanted out of religion and what the true definition of what faith and acceptance are. You could say I am dating religions. I came across Thervada Buddhism. I like everything about the religion, except for a few things, but overall I have seem to have found a good fit. Though I have yet to attend a sermon, or a practice. Because like after a bad breakup, you are scared to get hurt again. Maybe someday I will go a Buddhist worship or practice, but for now, I continue to read.

This is the histrory of my religious breakdown, where I was forced to question everything, and remove myself from something that I had been raised upon. Thankfully, my family went through this together, and we remained a team. But I still have a hard time with religion, but eventually you just have to move on and find something that is a better fit.

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