Hi Christians!   4 comments

Hi Christians. 

I mean you no harm; I am not aiming to insult you. I merely am confused by some of your decisions and I would like some clarification.

I was raised Catholic. I was told near daily that homosexuals were sick and an abomination. My Grandmother told me that gay people were mentally ill and that they should not be allowed to work with the public in any capacity, such as school teacher, waiter/waitress, politician or doctor. I have never come out to my Grandmother, so one could argue that if she only knew that she was directly attacking me with those words she would refrain. Most people do not understand that if she did take it all back, I would be so much sadder. My Grandmother truly lived by the rules of her religion, she is a very devout Catholic and if all it took was a gay grand daughter to change her tone, I would be so very disappointed.

She was always there to help everyone. She was an outstanding grand parent, mother, wife, daughter, sister, aunt and co-worker. She is currently in her late 80’s and is suffering from a typical mental break down that someone her age deals with. I won’t get into her current state here. So all that I am stating is in reference to who she was and how she lived her life up until around 85 years old.

When my Grandfather passed away my Grandmother was 59 years old. She never once so much as flirted with another man. Her husband passed and she would see him again in heaven once she passed. That was her faith, so that’s how she lived. Ever devoted to the family home and yard she rarely left the house except for Sunday Mass. Every once in a while she would go to flea markets with my aunt, her daughter, who lived at home for her entire life until her untimely death at age 52. That and random day trips to Atlantic City were just about the only places Grandmom went. She loved being home. She was very content to say that everything has a season and if you live life to the fullest for the season you were currently in, you would never mix things up and long for something that had passed or had not yet arrived.

She was raised on a farm in Pennsylvania. Tending to the animals was a sheer joy for her. She loved guiding the flock of geese, milking Cherry, their only cow and feeding the chickens by hand. At 16 she moved to New York City with her older sister and spent a couple of years dating and working and having fun going to the Pladium to see Frank Sinatra and Glenn Miller.

When her step-mother passed away, leaving my Great Grandfather to raise three small children on his own, my Grandmom and her sister moved back home to help. There she spent a few years raising her siblings as her own, along with taking care of her aging father, his home and once again enjoying the simple life.

Once she married my Grandfather, she decided that she wanted 5 children and that she would want them all before she turned 30. She had my Uncle James in April and turned 30 that May; five children in all, one every 2 years.

My point in this little biography is merely to say that my Grandmom was not a prude or strict lady who failed to enjoy life. She completely soaked up all the joy and each lesson of wisdom she could from the time of a child to that of a middle aged widow. But regardless of any fun or adventure she took part in, being a good and devout Catholic was paramount to each step she took in her journey of self-realization.

She knew her bible well. She went to mass every Sunday and paid attention. And being true to her faith, when she read that being gay was an abomination, when the priests and nuns instructed her that those activities were wicked and a sin, she trusted and believed and acted accordingly.

So with all my heart I believe that if I ever came out to my Grandmother, she would beg me to turn away from the wickedness. She would pray and plead to God to help me mend my evil ways. She would do this because she loves me and she wouldn’t be able to simply stand by while I handed my soul over to Satan so that I may burn in the fires of hell for all eternity.

If you were going to do something that would lead you to a horrible punishment wouldn’t you want the person who has shown you the most love and compassion ever in your life to reach out and do all that they could to save you?

Of course, my belief is quite different. I not only fail to see being gay as a sin, but I don’t even believe in hell. But she does. She does with all of her heart and she is only trying to save me, protect me, keep me safe. I can’t argue that. I wouldn’t want to.

So to my question to my Christian friends:

Whether you are Catholic, born-again or any other form of Christian, when you read in your bible or hear your preacher or priest say that something is wrong do you simply allow whatever you read/hear to be your own thought on the subject or do you contemplate it at all?

My issue is that I have a really hard time understanding why people are so tied to the “religious group” they belong to.

For example:

If you are Catholic and have been told since birth that pre-marital sex or birth control is wrong, but you think that’s silly or harmful so you don’t follow the church’s teachings in that regard, why don’t you just stop being Catholic? You can’t really pick and choose when to follow and when not to. And if people were more open and honest about this kind of stuff I think we’d see a big disruption to the large, organized religions and more sincere and passionate devotion to the faith that those churches report to speak for.

I admit that while all of my life I had never doubted that there was a God, recently my thoughts and feelings on the subject have vastly changed. People with great faith used to inspire me and they struck me as such wise and powerful entities. But in the last year or so, when someone says the word “god” I find myself pulling away from them. It did not start as intentional, but after a while it became so obvious to me that that was what was happening that I had to sit myself down and dissect just what was taking place within me.

I don’t believe that science disproves faith or that faith slaps down the theories of science. I don’t feel as many atheists do that for some reason if I can’t find god in the fine print then all forms of everything must be lies. I think there can be ghosts without a god. I think that herbs and whatnot do hold properties that are not yet fully understood and that could very well be used to heal or conjure without calling a god or goddess for permission first. I trust that our minds and emotions are ridiculously powerful and misunderstood and while a lot of the mystery can one day be solved with science, that does not mean that if I can’t prove it with numbers and experiments it doesn’t exist.

Maybe this newer version of me is actually more of a dreamer and that losing my faith in a “God” figure has really just opened up my eyes so that I can see more possibilities, bolder colors, wilder flavors, varied components and blissful connections.

One thing for sure is that I am happier this way. I feel more hopeful, better prepared, less intimidated and just a hell of a lot more peaceful. But I am not in the business of trying to tear down your god. I have seen faith bring so much comfort and joy to people that I could never play a part in taking that away from anyone. I have learned more through my mother’s love of god then any text book or science class. It brought her power, strength, wellbeing and a sense of belonging. In her last days she was excited to think that she would soon be with Jesus. I also saw moments of fear, those “what if” moments that let me know that somewhere deep down inside she did have her doubts. But she held on to her faith and pushed those fears aside. And when I could, I helped her do so. What good would come from her losing her peaceful vision at that point? I would rather help her with her faith then pursue my idea of the truth at her expense.

That’s when you know that you’re on the right track with your own spirituality. When you find yourself not promoting your truth so that you can help someone else hold onto what they need to believe. At the end of the day, my faith let me be a good daughter and a valued friend to someone who never knowingly failed me.

If there is a god, he exists in those details.

So again, I don’t know why people want to hold onto the name of a religion, the status of a book or a batch of rules they basically pick and choose from only to tell others how they should believe or live.

I was raised Catholic, I lived my life devoted to a God and I have been redeemed by my faith in the love of a special person who passed away with just enough religion to show me how not to believe and just enough doubt to prove to me that in the end all that matters is the love we make.

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4 responses to “Hi Christians!

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  1. I don’t see my first comment, maybe it has to be moderated?

    But, I also wanted to say, at least you know that your grandmother loves you and that (whether right or wrong) love for you would be her reason for trying to change your ways. Unlike people like the Westboro crazies who are so happy pronounce hell sentences on gays and sinners.

    I’d like to interact with your thoughts more but am out of time at the moment. I’ll try to come back later.

  2. Enjoyed your post. “That’s when you know that you’re on the right track with your own spirituality. When you find yourself not promoting your truth so that you can help someone else hold onto what they need to believe.” Thought provoking words there!

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