My mom was the child of a Catholic mom and a Lutheran dad who had converted to marry her. My dad, in turn, converted from the Methodist church to marry my mom. I am the product of equal parts unswerving faith and pragmatic apostasy.
We kept the sacraments consistently, and although we couldn't afford it they sent my siblings and I to Catholic schools all the way through high school. We were faithful, but not devout. Sometime during my grade school years an aunt of mine had her marriage annulled. The nuns had taught me that divorce was wrong, and I asked how this was different. The answer (the marriage never happened) seemed weaselly to me, and that was where I began to part ways with The Church. Or maybe it was when tongues of fire didn't appear at Confirmation. Both were around the same time.
I remained Catholic through high school. But apart from the formality of maintaining the sacraments my only real religious activity was leafleting against abortion, and writing against it when the opportunity arose in english class.
After high school I stopped going to confession and attending mass, but still considered myself a Catholic. I reacted angrily when my Catholic girlfriend began attending charismatic prayer meetings and trying to evangelize me. But resistance was futile, and I was assimilated, as were my fathers before me. Eventually this path lead me away from The One True Church and I spent a decade trying to find the real one true church. A parade of home prayer meetings, established independent churches, and one DIY startup which struggled along for a couple of years before being assimilated by another, more vigorous startup, occupied my time and attention. Along the way I threw myself into the support structures, helping out with the Sunday school bus runs, ushering, transferring sermons to tape, hosting prayer meetings, and other backgroundy stuff. I also read the Bible extensively, and made myself read it cover to cover in a couple of translations. I've never been able to cite chapter and verse, but I did acquire an overview knowledge, as one does when reading a favorite book two or three times.
But, as that one true church kept eluding me, I eventually became disillusioned and a backslider. As a backslider I had a moment that qualifies as my epiphany. I was re-reading the story of King David and Bathsheba, and suddenly saw the story from a different point of view. Here was David abusing his power, eventually killing Bathsheba's husband and marrying her to cover his tracks. God just kind of watches until the baby is born, then he moves in to strike with his mighty arm. Evil has been done, and someone must pay, so he smites the most obvious character in the story: the baby. And not mercifully. The baby suffers a protracted, lingering death. In his later years David has trouble staying warm at night, and has the country scoured for a pretty young maiden to help out. Apparently his two wives just weren't doing the job. Nevertheless, David is renowned, praised down through the ages as God's favorite king. The only character in the story with any integrity, Uriah, doesn't even get a footnote.
At that point I saw the God of the Bible as a country-clubbin' CEO. The kind of guy who looks out for his executives and their trophy wives, but doesn't hesitate to grind the insignificant under his heel when he wants to make a point. At that point a lot of business and politics that I had seen as sinful suddenly became scriptural.
I figured that God couldn't actually be as cruel, venal, and capricious as the God of scripture, so I stopped believing in Him. Perhaps both that conclusion and that decision were naive. It was a short step though to not believing in a god at all.
Not long after that the girlfriend who had seen to my conversion, whom I had eventually married, left me and our children for someone she'd met via Prodigy.
Today my children are grown, with families of their own, and I have started another family. My older children were raised in that hodgepodge of evangelical experiences, attended Christian Schools from time to time, and were briefly homeschooled. They range from atheistic to strongly evangelical. My younger children have been raised without formal religion. The oldest and I have talked much, and I've explained what I believe and how I got here. I've also explained that I could be dead wrong, because no one knows until they die what's on the other side. My child has adopted a faith or system loosely based on Shinto. My younger child isn't particularly interested in this stuff yet. Based on family history, somewhere between 64% and 99.999999% of my life has passed. I'll be discovering the mystery soon enough.
Hi Pendragon forgive me if this is not what you are looking for but as someone who does not adhere to books and politics about religions, but all the same have my own beliefs personal to me and god that I decide to know for myself.
I find nothing in religions today that entice my time and so have my own little niche of gods and goddesses.
So I would like to have a go. I would not say I am of the spiritual kind as I have my feet both stuck on the ground for the sake of me and people I am with and know.
Religion I find as a whole a distraction from the real thing, an annoyance if you like, which gets in the way of me trying to understand everything around me without being given the third degree about what a god might do If I step out of line.
It is all well and good to have discipline but if I am going to listen and respond it better be coming from the god himself ie face to face but as it goes this is not possible and there lies the issue.
I am not here to justify religion or god I am here to jusfity me and the one way to do would be to hear it from the man himself but yet Again god fails not answer me back or waves at me. Oh well unlucky me. May be god is not interested haha. He does not like me or does he?
So since I hear not the voice of god so I must go with what I know and that is to turn to how I grew up and how surrounded by adults telling me what to do all the time. Obedience as child is what we all do and learn because we have to if adults are going to let us get away with things.
So it is a habit and I listen better when someones tells me things it face to face directly and with words I can understand.
Call it a bad habit but if that means the words of god from the pages of a book will suffer then so be it. I will go with I know.
My religious experience/views has not altered my personality and turned me into someone I do not like but what I have retained from it is that if God is not around then I better find a god in everyone here on earth and use it to my advantage to make myself and others happy. Why fly when I can walk.
Until then I retain God as the existent one with the exception, objection, which is this: Whatever you do not mentinon Lucifer as I could not be bothered to start with this one.
In life one has to make choices and is allowed to chose one at a time, just like marriage you chose the one, and god is the one I chose. The rest including lucifer can do whatever. That is all.
Last edited by cacian; 09-26-2012 at 09:39 AM.
let's not lay terraces
and forget palaces
better while fallaces
then place trellises
to rise malices