17 November 2010

Religion Again?

Yes that title reflects how I feel.  I am so sick of thinking and talking and writing about religion, but now that I have removed myself from "religious" life, I am bombarded daily with the hypocrisy and hate of it all. 

Disclaimer:  I still believe in God, still pretty sure about Jesus, still reading and exploring and praying and deciding.  So I have not become an atheist.

But  oy vey, I am fed up to my eyeballs with do-gooder, self righteous Christians who think their way is the only way.  

I never considered myself to be an overly intellectual person.  I think I am smart, I think I can figure things out, I have a brain and I know how to use it.   But I didn't go to college and get a fancy degree.  Most of the stuff I know, I know because I sought the knowledge.  So it always makes me curious how so many people can fall hook, line and sinker for half the stuff told to them in church.  I can admit, I did fall hook and line for a while.  But I always held a little doubt (sinker) in my head.  Sometimes things felt fishy, sometimes they felt wrong.  Sometimes they didn't make sense.  So I didn't just close my mind and believe.  Well, sometimes I tried to, but I always had the nagging doubt that something didn't add up.  Which I suppose is why in the end it made it easy to leave church. God gave me a brain, and I use it. 

My eldest daughter recently joined a club at school called The Gay-Straight Alliance.  It's purpose is to foster friendship and understanding between gay and straight students.  It is supposed to be a safe place for the gay students to go and feel like they can be themselves.  It is not a club about sex or a place for gay students to sway their straight peers (as many would like to believe).  It's actually just a social club, a place for the kids to hang out together and organize community service events.  Recently the club helped out at the schools showing of The Laramie Project.  It was during a question and answer after the play that the audience was made aware of the fact that the school will not allow the club to advertise itself in school.  Seems the word "gay" is off limits.  So I wrote a letter to the editor of my local paper. (It's the comments to the letter and some other comments heard by people that have set me off.) 

What is it about gay people that brings such hatred out of Christians?  What makes them so afraid?  Do they think it's contagious?  Do they think gay people eat small children and kittens?  Why can't Christians just live out their own lives and let other people live theirs?

Isn't anyone other than me tired of Christians constantly butting into everyone else's lives?  They are not the only people on this planet.  I know they'd like to be, I know they think they have a mandate from God to make sure they are, but newsflash, there are plenty of other people who believe just as strongly in what their God says, or believe they have no God to tell them what to do and don't they deserve to just live their life in peace?  Believe me, there is no one in America who has never heard of God, so since they have all heard the "good news" isn't it time to leave them the hell alone?  

I am all for freedom of religion, I am all for anyone going to whatever church they like and worshiping however they like and living their life and raising their kids in whatever holy way they'd like.  What I am entirely sick of is people trying force other people to live their way of life. 

We are all here for such a really short time.  We all are just muddling through, trying to find our place, our purpose.  No one knows anyone else's story.  No one else EVER has the right to judge another's path, and certainly no one has the right to get into someones face and tell them their path is wrong.  If all the religious zealots were really following their religions, they would know the greatest commandment is to love.  Come on people, let's just love on each other.  

"The day will come when, after harnessing the winds, the tides and gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of Love.  And on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire." ~ Teilhard de Chardin


Stephanie said...

Tell it sister!

Deanna said...

Can you hear me applauding? Kudos to you and Carley. I read the comments and all I can say is that as soon as someone starts quoting scripture in a debate, all rational discussion ends.

kaki said...

I sooo hear you. I was raised Catholic as well (16 years of catholic education-yes, nursing school as well) and became "wayward". Catholics today are a strange bunch. They generally believe and pray, but no longer attend church, and have a hard time fitting in anywhere else. I have also experienced the fundamental christian. They are everywhere in the homeschooling community. I unschool, so they generally avoid me. Nor do I wear skirts, submit to my husband or keep my TV in the barn to avoid watching it.
4 years ago we moved to a small community in Bucks county, Pa. We renovated an old farmhouse, and the electrician, concrete guy, and roofer all came from the same church. (UCC) They invited us, and since they seemed normal, drank beer, and watched football we gave it a try. It is the most laid back place I have ever been too. 70% of the congregation is elderly, and let me tell you, these old dames know how to put a man in his place. No submitting here. Wine is generally accepted at dinners and events, and we seem to laugh more than anything. Our minister is a woman, and seems to have a never ending sense of humor. I have never heard her mention Hell.
I find God in places here you would not expect. At the Peach festival when we are all racing against time to get it together before the 6 pm start time. Or when my kids are singing in the choir (all 5 members) and they are so off key the windows shake. Or when we work at the food pantry and get the orders and paper work messed up, yet still manage to get it done.
Churches are like people. Not all are bad. If they try to be something they are not, or put on "holier than thou" airs, they lose their purpose. Ours works because the people in it are who they are. We gossip, we laugh, we bicker, we pray. I agree with you tho-if you can't find a church that makes you feel good about yourself, you are better off finding God outside of the church.

Anonymous said...

How do you know it is God that you are finding outside the church? Maybe it is the devil appearing as angel of light, but you have dismissed the Holy God of Scripture!