I would love to say that I have been slacking on blogging due to my chaotic life and busy schedule, but that just is not the case. Truthfully, I have not had any feeling or subject matter that I have felt strongly enough to write about. Yes, this is a sounding board for life’s problems that I have numerous questions to, but right now, I am questioning one thing.
I was raised Roman Catholic, Catholic school for 10 years, church every Sunday until I was a teenager, all the sacraments and ceremonies…the whole schebang. I have questioned why I believe what I was taught for most of my 20’s. I had completely severed any meaningful relationship I may have had with God for almost 10 years. Then I had Jakob. Things changed. I no longer had the luxury of giving up God…I was responsible for the greatest responsibility any person ever gets…a human life. That meant for the rest of my life I would be praying that he was healthy, safe, secure, happy…..any and everything one could ever think of. Is that wrong? I had not had a conversation with “my” God for a long time. Do I just pick up where I left off and say, “Hey, Ummm, I know I was gone for a long time, but I have this person I am raising now andI need to know that he is going to be OK despite anythng I am doing…I need your help, prayers and guidence….so, can we just let bygones be bygones?”
I don’t know if it works that way, but Jake is 8 now and he is healthy, safe, secure, smart, beautiful, kind, empathetic….everything I prayed for and so much more. I just cannot possibly believe that I am the only person (along with Ted, my husband/his father) responsible for all of it. That would be just egotistical. Right?
I stopped writing a few hours ago. Owen went down for a nap and I wanted to just lie down and rest. I was scrolling through all the On Demand movies available. I went back and forth in my head as to which one to rent. So, I picked “Doubt”. Maybe it was a subconscious thing…maybe I just wanted to see if it lived up to the hype….whatever the case…now, in retrospect…it seemed an obvious choice.
It was exactly as if I were back in catholic elementary school again. The nuns apparel may have changed from the setting of the movie until my time in the late 70’s, early 80’s….but it was all the same. The positions of authority the nuns and priests held were to be feared. The old school, drab colors within the walls and lockers…the grey sky and cold Autumn wind…then snow…it was all so very familiar. Mass….exactly as I remembered it to be. I could smell the incense as if it were burning next to me. I have always despised incense to this day. Nuns were scary and priests were to be revered.
Most importantly, it reminded me of why I am questioning my religion right now. It’s the hypocrisy of it all. No matter what you did, back then, you were going to hell. Take the Lord’s name in vain…confess it or you’re going to hell. Missed church…confess it or you’re going to hell. The biggest hypocrisy was to come later in my Catholic school years. The sex issue. No sex before marriage or you’re going to hell. If you did have sex and used birth control….hell. Sex and getting pregnant and keeping the baby…going to hell and having a bastard child out of wedlock. Sex, getting pregnant, giving the baby up for adoption….hell again. Sex, pregnancy and an abortion…forget it…your were fucked. There was no way to get around any of it.
Sex and teenagers is like peanut butter and jelly…it just goes together…someone is going to try it…and most will like it.
When I was 22 I found out I was pregnant. I was an adult. I took the necessary precautions to prevent pregnancy, but it failed. I was no more fit to raise a child than to keep a house plant alive. I had an abortion. My 1st of 2. I do not regret it, nor do I apologize for it. Yes, I had other options, but what may be right for one woman is not necessarily right for another. It was in the Fall of 1992. At Easter time the following spring, my Catholic guilt got the best of me. I don’t know why…I can’t explain it, but I decided to confess my “sin”. Fortunately, the priest on the other side of the confessional booth said that it was good than I confessed this “grave” sin now, at Paschal Time, as he had the authority to forgive such a sin, otherwise only a Bishop could forgive it. Wow….did I luck out. I was given the standard 10 Our Fathers, 10 Hail Marys and 10 Glory Be’s…you would think I would still be doing the rosary today for such a sin, but no. I didn’t feel any better after that confession…because I didn’t have any guilt to begin with. The Catholic religion had embedded so much “Hell” into me that I had a weak moment of self doubt and thought I had better confess it or I will be in big trouble if I die anytime soon.
Which brings me to the original reason I am questioning so badly right now….I watched Bill Maher’s “Religulous” a few days ago. Hysterical, yes….but also brought up so many valid points as to my beliefs and why I believe them. You have to watch the movie to understand my thinking right now, but now I am at a more serious crossroads.
Is Hollywood now dictating my belief system? Or should I say making me doubt it? What is it about fame and fortune and blockbuster movies that makes one think and over think their lives and beliefs? I could have had the same conversation with anyone of my friends about my questioning the beliefs that had been instilled in me, but not a one of them would have brought up the points that I am seriously pondering. No one I know what have that of it in the way it was presented to me by Hollywood…or more importantly, Mr. Maher. Now, he is famous for his non-conformist ways, questioning organized religion and marriage, but does he alone have a power of suggestion so strongly that I am affected by it? I think so. And I know why.
It not religion or God I am questioning…..it is organized religion created by men who never ever met Jesus Christ. How do they know what happened? What is all the parables I grew up to believe are a bunch of bullshit? What if Aesop is more accurate than The Old Testament?
I don’t have the answers. Neither did Bill Maher, which is why he made the documentary in the 1st place. All I know is this:
I haven’t prayed to God or Jesus since. I have only prayed with Jakob to my Mother, Aunt Alice, my Grandfather and Great-Grandmother….and anyone else close to me who has passed. I did sneak in a little favor for someone up there to point me in the right direction.
This was all before I watched Doubt.
Now…that’s all I have left….