I honestly don't remember what brought it up...I'm not sure if it was joke I made about making a voodoo dolls to resemble or boss or a pain in the ass client or something else I said, but my co workers did mention they were worried about my soul and being saved. I've never had anyone worry about the state of my soul before and I'm really not sure how I should feel about it. It's an odd feeling to have people worry about what afterlife you may end up in.
I did grow up in a 'Christian' household and we did go to church almost every Sunday when I was younger...well my mom did and my dad went sometimes for holiday stuff, but for the most part it was my mom and grandmother who took us. Considering my current relationship with 'Church' it might stun people to know that I used to love going. I couldn't wait to get up and go and learn about God and Jesus. I think that's what brought me in. I liked learning about The Bible and everything that went with it. I used to just sit there and read the Bible just because it was sitting there. I think this is what got me in trouble later in life.
We went through a period where we didn't go as a family, but I would sometimes tag along with a friend to church and than we hit a dry spell where we didn't go at all. It didn't start till after my parents divorce that we went all the time and this is when I think the downward spiral between me and 'Church' started. Looking back I realize that it really doesn't matter what you believe in teen aged girls are teen aged girls and they are just pure evil. I tried youth group and found only one person would really talk to me and the other girls didn't like this so in turn they didn't talk to me and I was just hit with the thought. This isn't very Christian like at all. I was hit with this odd thought again when after I spoke with an older lady of the church we were going to said something to the effect of I should try to get my Catholic friend here so she could be saved. I was really confused, she believed in God too, they just did stuff different. According to the lady it wasn't the right way. Now I was really confused because I had never heard of a wrong way to believe in God before that second.
It was also during this time that I got exposed to a lot of other religions-My dad exposed me to Wicca, My friends to Catholicism, Judaism through talking about the Holocaust, Sailor Moon introduced me to the ideas of Eastern religions. That whole wanting to learn thing is what got me in trouble. I learned that asking questions about church history and the Bible isn't liked at all. Like how Paganism is older than Christianity and how the Catholic Church took some Pagan holidays to convert people. Or how priests translated the Bible and only told us what they felt we needed to know. Why didn't all the Apostles have a chapter in the Bible? I was like that annoying three year old asking 'why' all the time. Instead the question being addressed and answered I was told that I was 'doubting' and just needed to have faith.
I wanted to have faith and that was the problem. Jesus was a teacher and he wanted us to ask questions. Jesus was answering questions all the time and he never seemed to get mad about it, annoyed maybe but he would talk to you about it. I was really happy when we stopped going to church for awhile, the youth group just made the whole thing unbearable. I was more worried about how I looked to this group of kids than learning the message.
However Church wasn't done with me..
During my junior year of high school I was working on the school magazine and in years past we always ran an ad with Planned Parenthood and another with an adoption agency. Not gonna lie we did have an issue with teen pregnancy and a lot of girls didn't have access to health care so that's why we had Planned Parenthood in our magazine. We came out with a Valentine's Day issue and it was like a powder keg to a match. In addition to our ad about Planned Parenthood, our OP editor did a piece about legal pot and our feature story was about couples-a couple who had started dating, a long distance couple and a girl from our class that had gotten married that summer. The long distance couple was another girl from our class who was gay and her girlfriend lived out of state. The girl had no issue with being out, but once the magazine came out was when everything hit the fan.
A kid from another school who we exchanged papers with complained about seeing a gay couple cuddling together and I'm pretty sure he said it was sick. He complained about our OP piece and our ad with Planned Parenthood. This set off a fire storm that landed us in our local paper and in national news. Our teacher at the time tried to keep some of the letters out of our sight, but one that me and the other girl selling ad saw still digs at me. The writer stated that we 'the ad team' were horrible human beings and that our parents needed to teach us morals if we were taking the 'blood money' of Planned Parenthood. Wow...this writer did know he/she was writing to teen aged girls right? We got shit in the halls at school for supporting gay rights and abortion. The mother of a former friend of mine didn't want me in her house for a time because of the ad.
We weren't supporting abortion, we just wanted people to know you could go there for care and testing. The whole gay rights thing I don't think had even crossed our mind at the time. We just thought their story as a couple was cute. I had gay friends at the time and my dad had introduced me to his gay friends so I didn't know what was wrong. I'm serious I really didn't know what was wrong and why people were being so hateful towards us and to the girl who was at our school. From what I heard she was kicked out of her church and her parents weren't supporting her. I didn't understand it. Doesn't Jesus teach us that we're to love everyone. Even than...how do you become so cold and cruel to someone you've known your whole life? I really was sheltered and just couldn't understand it. It was wrong...it was wrong and against all the things I had read.
The final straw with me and 'Church' came my senior year of high school and it was over being hateful towards. My mother was dating someone who I will only address as Bible Thumper came into my life and back to church we went. Thankfully I was too old at the time for youth group so I could just go to service and I remember sitting there and wanting to feel something I couldn't. The thing I used to love held nothing for me other than annoyance. Bible Thumper didn't like my brother playing with dinosaurs because their fossils were put here by Satan to confuse us. Really. He didn't like me watching Will and Grace it made him uncomfortable. Really .However he was totally cool with his friend cheating on his wife. Yeah. It started to really grate on my nerves when my mom started on this Anti Gay kick. She had no issue with my gay friends before and now...
The final straw came during my graduation party that he didn't even come to and we had to call him repeatedly to help us clean up since he had the truck and one my gay friends from middle school came back to the house with us after he helped us cleaned. I had missed his open house and he had asked for a shirt that had Ralph from The Simpsons that was pink and read 'I'm a pop superstar!" I got him that and he love it and we talked about getting together that summer and he left. During this whole time Bible Thumper just glared at him and didn't thank him for helping us. Bible Thumper's son was there and he was a sweet boy and he asked why my friend wanted a pink shirt and I didn't know how to explain it to a six year old.
"He's different," was what I said.
"Honey just say he's gay," was what my than boyfriend now husband said. He's own sister was gay, out and with her partner for almost ten years at that time.
"I believe the word faggot is right," said Bible Thumper. It was like a fuse was lit and I just wanted to go off.
How dare this jackass who didn't even know my friend say such a hateful thing. How was this Christian or following the word of God? It was wrong. Treating people badly was wrong and I didn't care what The Bible said. If being a good Christian was being hateful to people than I was done and I wanted nothing else to do with Church or anything stemming from that.
Other than weddings and funerals I haven't been in a church or opened a Bible for almost ten years. My husband wasn't brought up religion so he really doesn't care. He went to Midnight Mass once and I think that was enough for him. We had joked about becoming Jewish after hearing Lewis Black and it is the default religion I go to when Mormons knock on the door. I think it blows some people's minds that it's been that long and I think it blows their minds when I tell that at one point I was really into church and had actually wanted to be a missionary because I liked helping people and teaching. I still like learning about religions even though I really don't belong to one.
I like to think that even though I don't a religion that I still have morals. I don't steal, I don't cheat, I don't beat kids or puppies and I always have 12 items or less in the express lane. I try to go out of my way to help people and to just be nice to everyone I cross paths with. I've adopted the philosophy that you have one life and one meeting and you should try to make the best first impression possible. I speak up when I don't feel something is right. My co-worker who was worried about my soul said someone was a faggot and I told her I didn't think that was right.
"You swear all the time and that offends you?" Yes because it's a hateful word about a group of people that I care about. I made her a deal. I wouldn't say fuck or any other swears and she couldn't say gay or faggot anymore.
I think Jesus/God/Buddha/Muhammad/Cthulhu/Flying Spaghetti monster or whatever you believe in would approve.
"Be Excellent to each other!"