Journeys Continue
July 7, 2005

This is part four in a six part series. You can find part one here. And part two here. And part three here.
NEW: Read the whole series on one page (if you're so inclined).
This is a post about . . . well, it touches on religion. It's not about conversion - either mine or anyone else's. It's just a post about experiences and personal conclusions. (Sorry for the disclaimer, but I believe in truth in advertising.) Every year at my church, instead of a sermon one day, a couple of people stand up and talk about their faith journey and how they got to Southside (our church). After listening to the stories this year, I thought I would write a part of my own.

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For my entire senior year of high school, I'd been working up to tell Mom my biggest secret, something I'd been hiding from her for years. I had worked myself up to tell her that I wasn't Catholic any more.

By my freshman year of college, I still hadn't done it. And I was still stuck living at home. Before I could finally, finally tell her, someone called the house and told my mom that I was gay. Well, in some ways that made things easier for me -- she assumed I wasn't Catholic when I confirmed that I was gay.

I won't go into the whole saga here, but she did drag me off to a Catholic counselor that morning, making me skip my Tuesday classes. My mom had told the counselor that maybe Dad had "done something" to me (and presumably made me be gay) or that I was simply going through a phase. It was the second time in about as many years that Mom had asked that about Dad. But I still wasn't ready to deal with it in any way - even though about the time that I stopped believing in a God-being was about the time Dad had begun re-visiting my room at night.

I moved out of the house, Mom divorced Dad and later got the marriage anulled. And I stopped going to church.

I also stopped worrying about God one way or another. I admitted that the whole God-thing, the whole why-we-exist and what-happens-afterward thing was a great mystery that was totally beyond human understanding, so why try to understand it? All we needed to know was to try to be good and compassionate, to help others and to treat each other as we would want to be treated. Anything else was us humans putting our limiting constructions on something beyond comprehension. And most of those times we not only created an artificial construction, we created limits that weren't really there; rules that weren't true; and for some, a crutch which might ease our lives or it might snap under the pressure and leave us far more devastated than if we'd had no crutch at all.

From the time i was about 15 or 16 until I was about 30, I had a ghost-faith. I wasn't Catholic any more. I looked into several pagan religions, Wicca, Witta; I looked at Native American beliefs - particularly Navajo, Hopi and Pueblo beliefs. All of it, Christian, pagan, native, seemed so artificial and ultimately empty to me. I believed in being good, in doing good. If whatever or whoever ran things didn't think that was good enough, then I didn't really care what "he" did to me in whatever afterlife. It just wasn't worth it to me to try to live by impossible rules and regulations and then get caught out on some stupid technicality.

I had a ghost-faith. I believed in some nebulous something, but I didn't know how to define it and I didn't really want to.

- - - -

Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four | Part Five | Part Six
More on how all of this affected my faith journey in the next section.
I just want to take a quick moment to say again that these were my experiences -- I'm in no way condemning any religion or faith or generalizing about any of them. Just talking about my journeys.

Posted by Red Monkey at July 7, 2005 10:39 AM | Storytelling: She was, of course, supposed to be sleeping. | | StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble |

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