Posted by admin on December 18, 2017 in Religion |

I grew up Catholic. I was never a very good soldier of Christ. Most kids brought up in a religious family aren’t. We are born sinners, prone to going so far as to lie to our priest as we search in vain for a sin significant enough to warrant a Hail Mary or Our Father.

As I grew older, I started to figure out that the whole Catholic thing really didn’t work for me. It started when I got divorced. The only way I could stay a Catholic was to get an annulment, which would have made my daughter illegitimate. I didn’t think that was quite right. I mean, she didn’t do anything, so why punish her with the label of illegitimacy?

This is also about the time that all the magic wore off. I had learned that sacramental wine came from big jugs with the name Gallo spread across the front and witnessed first hand, the pouring of Eucharists from large plastic bags. I guess God didn’t make them after all. Some factory in Dubuque did.

I also figured out that the Pope was hardly infallible, which is a convenient way to control the masses since you can never be wrong. Plus, I figured out that I could actually talk to God on a direct line. I didn’t need a middleman priest to do the talking for me.

As I’ve continued on my journey in this life, I have become less religious and far more spiritual. In fact, I am more spiritual now than I was in my best God-fearing, going-to-church-on-Sundays years.

Unfortunately, this journey in spirituality has left a huge chasm in my heart, mind and soul, for I cannot for the life of me reconcile Christianity as it is practiced today. Now, I’m not saying that every Christian is false or is inherently evil. Rather, these RobZerrvations are based on the news reports I see daily. So bear with me, and if you’re a Christian, please keep an open mind and know that I am not calling you out specifically.

First, there have been reports of late that some Christians believe that Muslims worship a different God than they do. I understand all that Commandments stuff about not having false gods before thee. But Christians by nature are supposed to believe in one God, and if you introduce the idea that other religions have other supreme beings that are not this one God, then you are entertaining the idea that there are other gods and that yours is somehow better than the other guy’s god. As the right reverend Johnny Depp once said, “All the doors of religion open to the same god.” Get over it, move on, quit judging others against your own ethnocentristic, white Protestant beliefs at that.

Then there’s the whole “What would Jesus do?” issue. I see this a lot. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think Jesus had a better quality of poor or sick that he ministered to in his day compared to our sick and poor. Yet, I see supposedly stout Christians turn their backs on others, particularly when it comes to federal or state programs that help the poor, the mentally ill, the elderly and those other populations that can’t fend for themselves.

This is particularly true with those who have what Christians would say were alternate or even deviant lifestyles. I really don’t think Jesus would have cared if someone was gay. He would still minister to them in their time of need. He certainly wouldn’t have tried to reprogram them so they liked women again. I mean, hey, the guy wore a long gown and hung around with a dozen or so guys every day. I mean, who would he be to judge?

I have long thought that fundamental Christianity was a lot like training wheels on a bicycle. It’s a safe way to learn to have faith. There isn’t a lot of wiggle room in fundamental Christianity. It’s safe and simple for a reason.

Now, before any fundamental Christians jump on me here, I am not criticizing this path to spirituality. Everyone has their own journey. I am married to a former fundamentalist Christian woman. It served a very important role in her life and it helped bring her to where she is today. I am not about to cast any stones for my own path has been pretty, um, ziggy-zaggy.

But I do have to question some of the paths some preachers take these days. They are using their own pulpit to sway their flock. They are preaching fire and brimstone for those who don’t walk in their shadow, saying that they have the only true path to salvation and righteousness.

Spare me. I still remember my years as a parishioner at St. Madeleine Sophie in Bellevue. We would all attend mass together, shake hands and say “Peace be with you” before we excited. Then we would get in our cars and lose every bit of virtue we had as some idiot (re: fellow parishioner)  backed his car out of his spot in front of us, causing us to potentially miss the Seahawks kickoff. We’d hit the horn in our anger, even though we were all “peace be with you” just moments before.

I have never been able to reconcile this duality of organized religion. On the one hand, we listen to the preachings of Jesus and his Apostles and read from the word of God, but then we draw all these artificial lines in the sand, gravitating from the forgiving New Testament God to the wrathful Old Testament God whenever it suits our purposes.

I just don’t get it. I like to think that if Jesus was still around he would head bump us for our judgmental attitude toward those who are taking a different path in their journey in this world. While we may have been made in the image of God, we weren’t all cranked out with a cookie cutter. We each have our own demons to fight, our own faith to find and our own lives to lead.

I for one will continue to shake my head in disbelief. It’s not that I am superior to anyone else. It’s just that I can’t figure out why those who hold sway in the churches of our land are selling such snake oil as to make us believe that we are the only ones with the right answer.

I think God is up there shaking his head too. Thankfully, he’s in a forgiving mood these days. If he was his Old Testament self, he’d be smiting a lot of us right now for our so-called Christian beliefs.

In the Emerald City, looking for devine guidance and some good sacramental wine,

  • Robb

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