OK, so I’m gonna get honest with this post and I might tick some people off. But what the heck, if you can’t share what’s on your mind then what’s the point of blogging, right? Right.
It’s Easter (yes, I’m a rocket scientist for figuring that out) and I’ve been asked on more than one occasion if the Easter Bunny is coming to our house, meaning, do we feed our kids the same lies that 99.48% of the population feed them regarding an elusive over-sized rabbit that magically drops candy, chocolate, and even large gifts to little boys and girls everywhere? The answer is yes, we do.
I regularly attend Coffee Break, a women’s group that meets every Thursday morning to chat about sex, drugs and rock and roll. Just kidding. We mainly talk about God, the Bible and of course, our kids. But I have a bit of a problem with all this talk, even if I do enjoy the company. Somewhere along the line, and I really can’t pinpoint, why, when, where or how, I became jaded with Christianity and all it seemingly offered. I know that many of my friends and acquaintances feel differently, and I’m sorry if this upsets you. I know it’s also hard on my parents, two of the most wonderful people I know who taught us all about right from wrong, treating others with respect, and most importantly, Christianity. Unfortunately, they also taught us to think for ourselves, which might have backfired when it comes to religious matters.
For those of you who know my parents, you know that my father is a pastor and my mother is just an all around awesome lady with a great faith and a modern view on God and Christianity. I know that having a child (or four) who do not go to church must be tough on them, and I’m thankful that they don’t cry the blues about how I’m going to hell for my wayward ways, cause that would also backfire.
When I talk about my hang ups with Christianity, please don’t take my musings as a personal attack. I’m not trying to offend anyone, I’m just trying to make sense of it all.
Last Thursday at Coffee Break, I was bowing my head and pretending to pray while thinking about Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter Monday. There is so much Biblical meaning behind Easter and yet I haven’t told my kids any of it. A big part of this is that I don’t know how to explain in layman’s terms to a three and a four year old that we beat a man, nailed him to a cross and watched him die a slow and painful death. I just don’t know how to make such a gruesome story G-Rated. But if I’m honest with myself, it also has to do with the fact that I’m not sure I want to spoon feed my children one particular religion and claim it as the one and only way (insert gasp here). The older I get, the more I think that the universe is a complicated matter. It is full of energy and things far beyond our comprehension. It has force fields and karma and all sorts of goodies. And this is God’s doing. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe in God. I just sometimes have a hard time fitting him into the box that Christianity handed me and told me to stuff him in, like cramming a square peg into a round hole.
Quite honestly, I find Christianity to be a bit of an elitist religion. We think that our way is the only way so we go and try to convert others to the one true religion out there, lest they be banned to the fiery pits of hell for not believing in the gospel. But hear me out. Why can’t Buddhists or Humanists practice religion in a way that works for them? Why does it have to be the “Christian” way? The answer I’ve been given for this is to have Bible verses quoted at me. But really, their books of knowledge have a lot of good information in them, and as long as they are living a decent life, can’t that be good enough? If we treat our fellow man with love and respect, and try to treat others as we want to be treated, does it matter if we view God as a big booming voice in the sky or as a little fat man with a belly to rub? It’s about this time where I’m rebutted with quotes of idol worshipping, but we all have idols. We worship movie stars, our iPhones, our house, our car, our job. These can be a lot more damaging and are much more present in our lives.
The Bible is full of great information, but it’s also full of outdated information. And while the Bible has helped me along my spiritual journey on more than one occasion, I have often gotten a lot more useful soul food from a good novel or self help book, or even a compelling documentary or a tear-jerker movie. I’ve heard some great sermons but I’ve also garnered a ton of helpful advice from secular speakers.
The other day, a few of the women at Coffee Break threw their husbands under the proverbial bus, making some cryptic and underhanded comments about their husbands’ “problems,” to which they were referring to pornography. Why exactly is it that pornography is so bad? I understand that the addiction to porn is awful and damaging, as is the addiction to alcohol, gambling and drugs to name a few. But what makes it so that the Christian man can’t indulge in a little eye candy every now and again? And I know that there are verses to rebut this, but those could also apply to the other mentioned vices, which can destroy a family faster than Katrina. Is a peek at a pretty lady any worse than lying, cheating, stealing? It really does seem that way.
Sex is a little like watching your favourite sport. You enjoy doing it regardless, but it sure is nice when things get shaken up with a great play or bad call by the ref. Perhaps watching a porno together can do this for one’s sex life. Now, if your husband starts thinking that he can get it on with the nurse at Dr Do-Me-A-Little’s office, then you might have a problem. But how is it worse than swooning over Ryan Reynolds in a RomCom?
So, like I said, I’m sure I made some people upset with my blaspheme. Really, I envy those with a strong faith. It would be much easier if I could move mountains with my faith instead of questioning what God and religion means to me and how I can make sense of it. I hope one day I will finally feel at peace with this, but for now, I’m on a merry-go-round in a dark cave, trying to grope around in the darkness for a horse to hold onto and hoping I don’t fall off the edge. And until then, I will tell my kids about the Easter Bunny, about Jesus, about Santa. I will let them celebrate Halloween and I might even spark a debate about evolution or reincarnation. I will tell them about the power of positive thinking and how I listened to my bedroom and found out her name was Betty. I will tell them Bible stories and Greek Myths. I will give them a little of this, and a little of that, and hope that they can figure out what spirituality means for them. Most of all, I will teach them to love, to be kind, to be honest, to be respectful. And maybe they will find God in the Bible or in Buddha’s belly or in a Sunday morning roll in the hay with “Armagetiton” playing out in the background. They may not embrace religion, but I hope they will find a deep and meaningful spirituality that works for them.