Saturday, September 3, 2011
I am a faithful person...but not a religious one
Writer's note; I usually don't write about hot topics like religion or politics because my blog is not designed to initiate debate. It is designed to make you think.
I am breaking my own rule with this one because it has been weighing on me for quite awhile. I welcome disagreement...but not debate...at least not in this forum. However, if you want to buy me a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and discuss the topic, I am all for it.
Writer's note #2; I usually don't refer to myself in my blog because it is inherent by nature that my posts are my opinions. This one has to be delivered from the "me" perspective because it is my unique experience.
I am a recovering Catholic.
I say that partly in jest but it does convey the feeling I want to create when you hear it.
I was baptized into the Catholic church...raised Catholic...went to Catholic schools...and married into the Catholic church.
I feel like the Catholic church turned its back on me twice during my life. Two very important moments that defined my life forever.
First of all, I had a daughter out of marriage. She is a beautiful part of my life. I don't know what I would do without her. After we had my daughter, we were planning to have a big traditional Catholic wedding. My fiancee and I decided it would be not only fun but logical to get married through the courts before our wedding. Nope...bad idea according to the Catholic church. We were told we couldn't have a traditional Catholic wedding because by getting married in the court, it publicizes the fact that we had a child out of marriage.
Secondly, my first marriage ended with divorce and I was told by the Catholic church that if I wanted to stay Catholic, I was going to have to pay money to the church and have my marriage annulled. Which in other words means that my marriage never happened. When I asked the question...how does the church explain my daughter then...the Catholic church responded with...we can't(don't even get me started on the topic of Catholic priests trying to give marriage counseling).
Strike Two. And in this case...you're out!!!
The Catholic church is fundamentally flawed. I understand the practice of respecting tradition but traditions can evolve while still respecting the initial purpose of the tradition itself. The Catholic church's takes on women, the priesthood and celibacy, divorce, confession and the sacraments are outdated and have created true and real problems in our society.
When I first approached the Lutheran church about making the switch...I started explaining my divorce. The Pastor stopped me and said...I understand...I too went through a divorce. At that moment, I achieved religious clarity. This Pastor understood me and welcomed me into the church with open arms.
That is what religion should be about. Finding ways to accept people rather than creating rules to keep them out.
It's about the Christian faith...not about religion. Faith was created by God. Religion was created by man.
Final point of clarity...don't ever confuse God with religion.
May peace be with you...