Saturday, February 28, 2009

Went to church today....

And was not struck down by lightening as I crossed the threshold, fancy that! If ya'll haven't been with me awhile I'll let you know where the belief system goes in our house, there isn't one. My 7 yr old daughter is more religious than both my husband and I put together and multiplied by 10. We put her in a Presbyterian preschool and then an Episcopalian for a few months before moving here. Honestly I don't think either of those made much of a difference in her religious upbringing. I think moving to Texas where EVERYONE she knows goes to church. Except her. She's at an age where she wants to do anything everyone else is doing, including being either and Aggie or a Longhorn. Neither of her parents do sports and I think she's kinda peeved at us about it. There is nothing in this world that is going to make either of her parents sports lovers. Sucks to be her huh? My heart bleeds for her. No, really it does. So this is why I think she's interested in God and religion and what ever that entails. Which is a lot. Do we believe in heaven, other religions, do you be live in Jesus, and that whole ball of wax.

We are trying to raise a child that makes her own choice in religion and support it in whatever way we can. We may not be religious but we do believe strongly in religious freedom and tolerance. Strongly. In Texas people believe in religion. Religious freedom and tolerance not so much. This is highly irritating to us and we do our best to let our child know that there are all kinds of views and the other views are NOT WRONG. Just different. DIFFERENT ISN'T WRONG. Do you know how hard this is to teach a child? Yeah not so easy.

So tonight I took her and one of her favorite friends to his church. She expressed interest in going to church and I obliged. Call it an attempt at appeasing God, my parents gave me no religious upbringing but if my kid wants to go I'm not going to stop her. The hubby is off at training for 4 days so I'm solo for this wonderful event. This is what is commonly called the Rock and Roll church and the kids have their own class. They are dropped off in another room to do their studies and fun while the grown ups attend 'services' (yes, I went by myself, I'm flexible like that). This church is so made for our generation. It starts out with a full rock band taking up the stage, 3 guitars, basist, drummer, keyboardist, and 3 singers (2 women 1 man). They go through a few songs, all Christian rock of course, and it really is fine music, lovely voices! The words are all up on the 5 big screen projection tv's so everyone can sing along and boy do they! The music is loud so even if you can't carry a tune it doesn't matter, it's all good. After the music there are a few little skit like things on the tv's while they clean up the stage to ready it for the pastor. One of the skits is a bit from How I Met Your Mother, an absolutely FABULOUS show if you've never seen it before you really must sometime. It was a good indicator that they are very close to my own wavelength. The pastor then gets up and does the sermon. He was kinda lookin Gen X to Gen Y-ish. Beatles (Jonas Bros?) hair, full trimmed beard, t-shirt and jeans. No lie this was a vary casual church. Jeans and man-dles, t-shirts, hoodies, yoga pants church. Yeah the sermon wasn't very preach-y and really what I can deal with.

I am too much of a Christian novice to be able to handle the guilt churches. I have read the bible, I've even done years of bible study and gone to Jewish services. I am pretty well versed in religion for a non-religious person. I told ya, I'm very open minded when it comes to religion. I do not believe any 1 religion is the right one, just like I don't believe that any 1 pair of jeans is the perfect pair of jeans. Kinda depends on your ass now doesn't it? Why should religion be any different? Yes I just compared God to your ass, now you know why I was surprised by the lack of lightening.

One of the more interesting things I learned tonight is that, like most of my daughter's contemporaries, her little friend, N, is clueless that there are other religions and that not being a Christian is OK. He had made a comment that people in China don't believe in God. I told him that it was ok and there was nothing wrong with that and that there are people in China that believe in God. In fact, they are not wrong to not believe in God, in our country you have the right to believe or not believe or not have an opinion at all. I must remember to talk to his mom about that. I'm not sure if she believes in religious intolerance (I'm pretty darn sure she doesn't but I must make sure) and if not then she needs to know her son is being taught it in some way or form.

And this, my dear readers, is why my husband and I have never found solace in organized religion. Mainly because we have yet to find one, any one, that doesn't preach and teach some sort of hate or intolerance. Be it another religion to hate, gays, free thinkers, what have you there is always some sort of anti something going on. We just can't hang with that, it's not tolerated in our household. One of the things we taught the child a long time ago is now a mantra here, "different people like different things and it's ok".

Oh and I'll have you know, she didn't really like church. For whatever reason it didn't do it for her. Good thing too because I am so lackadaisical about going to church it may not happen for another 10 years.


Anonymous said...

i'm soooo glad i'm not the only one with a daughter who wants to go to church. (i've been thinking and researching churches for the part couple of months . . . i think the unitarians are winning. what's a presbrytirian(sp?))

*see i can't even spell some religions! ack!

Kimberly said...

I have been here and we like it. We are also in that group of only getting to church once every blue moon, I appease my guilt by doing bible study. hey, the coffee is good!

Death before Decaf! said...

If I had seen with my own eyes that religious Americans as a whole had moved passed the "because the bible tells me so" mode of thinking than I'd be more pro-church. But as it stands...

Screw church.

Oh, wait..that may have some out a little harsher than, no I suppose it didn't.

Now let me clarify, lest I offend those people of faith I like and respect. There are a bunch of amazing, magnanimous, clear-thinking and all together wonderful people of faith in this world. I know, because we are lucky enough to be friends with some of them.

My overall opinion of churches remains low, however.

Maybe instead of wondering WWJD?
People should instead muse "Hey, it's my life and I'm a person of relatively sound mind and judgment...What Would I Do"

Nah, forget it. Who'd want to deal with THAT kind of responsibility?


aweesan said...

Jas and I saw a bumper sticker the other day that read: So many right-wing Christians, so few lions...

Heck yeah it's a funny bumper sticker- and here's why:

Regardless of my belief system that there's a uniting energy with us "humans" (I’m agnostic); that there isn't different races and only a human race, the fact is- and to take an excerpt from a conversation with my friend Ryan who just happened to talk about the book of Mark yesterday- Christians don't usually "do what Jesus would have done". They are the first to throw stones, to judge another's life, because of their "rightness" and supposed closeness to God/Jesus. (aside from the certain televangelists who would sleep with a few prostitutes, the majority of Christians wouldn’t be non-judgmental and say, hey, I’m just gonna be nice and be your friend.) I would hasten to say that they use their title of "Christian" as many people would a rabbit's foot. “OH, but I'm a Christian! I'd never do that, oh, I'm not going to hell because the rabbit foot/ my relationship with Jesus.” Frankly, they, like many other religious fundamentalists, make what could be a good thing into something bad. Hence, not enough lions....

Now, I was always curious about God growing up. I had to go to church but it didn't make sense (I was brought up Protestant, so I’m protesting now…). All I really knew is that you had to work hard to treat others the way you want to be treated and not expect that everyone will do that all the time. I still practice that. I maintain that you don't have to go to church to have a personal relationship with God/Jehovah/Allah/The Noodly One/etc, but having your congregation of friends who feel similarly, that you meet with as regularly as possible, is a good moral barometer at times. But, if you just stick with their beliefs and don’t exercise a little flexibility with how there could be other ways to skin the “proverbial” cat** then there’s just a whole lotta intolerance out there (where ARE these lions? They should be super fat right now!) **(is there really a cat that’s skinned in the book of Proverbs?! Not sure, but you get my drift)

Anyway, good for you, Michelle. I think that’s a great thing you’re doing over there :)