Don't close the door that can open your mind
"...it's not a Museum for good people, it's a hospital for the broken."
My husband took a very brave, very personal, and very thought out step yesterday, and it will have consequences on his relationship with some members of his family that he loves very much. I am worried about this, not because of his decision, but because of how he will hurt because of their reactions.
"...the son of God never supported self-righteousness, not now, not then."
I take a very deep breath before I write my blog. I try to write exactly what I mean to say, so as to be very clear as to my meaning, my thoughts, my intent of expression. I don't want anyone reading and going, "what exactly does she mean by that?". Most of the time, people have said that I am very blunt, too honest, too quick to say what is on my mind, and I don't apologize for that. For many years, I wasn't allowed to speak, or to have an opinion, and then once I found my strength, I couldn't stop my voice from screaming through, trying to make up for lost years of desperation, isolation, loneliness, fear, and loathing of those that seemed to adore pushing me around. I had questions, so many questions, and when your not allowed to ask questions, your frustration level multiplies. I also never understood what exactly was wrong with asking questions. Why is this such a bad thing? Then, upon achieving my level of voice and independence, I discovered that questions bring about answers. Answers bring about knowledge. Knowledge brings about enlightenment. Know what happens next? Those that told you to shut up and be quiet...loose all of THEIR voice, their power, their control.
”I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being ‘Christian’ or to being part of Christianity. It’s simply impossible for me to ‘belong’ to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group. I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life. In the name of Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen.”
So, I was raised, well, no, wrong explanation. I was baptized, then dropped of for years to attend mass and CCD as a child. This is Catholicism. Most just participate now because that's what their parents did, and so, they do. The younger generation doesn't keep up with 90% of the Catholic beliefs or traditions anymore. My parents never attended church with us. The first time I recall being in church with my parents was at the funeral of my Grandmother Mills. My father was a nervous wreck, and my mother was plotting and planning the entire time. Churches always have made my father break out in a furious panic attack. He couldn't even attend my brothers wedding in Colorado without first throwing back a few 7 & 7's at the hotel. He was especially upset that the reception was going to be alcohol free, due to my sister-in-laws family and their religious views. This was, and is, hilarious to me. No alcohol to drink at a wedding, but wine is prevalent throughout the Bible. Jesus turned water "into wine", but drinking is a sin? Sigh...mass hypocrisy is a muck in organized religion. I always got into trouble for saying things like this, and continue to do so. Every Catholic mass that anyone attends there is a part where you receive the "body of Christ" which is a very dry wafer that you place on your tongue and allow to dissolve. In extensive service, or say, funerals or weddings, you also receive the "blood of Christ" and it is wine. You take a tiny sip from a chalice, and it is usually a cheap red wine, but still. This is still hilarious to me, because many churches have adopted this practice, and most religions say that alcohol is a sin. Make up your mind people. They preach that you are to be kind and forgiving, yet also preach that non-believers and "sinners" such as drug dealers, prostitutes, alcoholics, abusers, etc, will all certainly go to hell. Jesus befriended such people. He did not abandon them, he did not turn his back and banish them, mock them, hate them. Organized religion lost its way years and years ago, and according to today's standards and rules, would not even allow a person such as Jesus to attend their church. They would call him false, persecute him, shun him....sound familiar?
"...back to the point, one thing is vital to mention. How Jesus and religion...are on opposite spectrum's. See, ones the work of God, but ones a man made invention."
This young man in this video, is very talented, very insightful, and very in touch with how a great many people feel now about faith, organized religion, and how it has left a great deal of the worlds population jaded.
My husband was raised Mormon. He struggled with his upbringing in the church, and even at one point, had decided to go on his mission, but then found the more he studied and prepared for it, the more he knew it wasn't for him. He made the very brave decision to go to his Bishop and explain this, and not to go on his mission, and eventually, not attend church any longer. As he has gotten older, he has found that he doesn't have any connection to the Mormon church or its beliefs, and he came to a decision that he didn't want to belong or to be Mormon anymore. You can't just "not go" in the Mormon faith, you must "withdraw" and it is a long process. It is also quite intimidating and threatening, which I find very sad.
I just don't go to mass, and the Catholic church is alright with that. My childhood religion has many, many faults, and I am the first to admit that they have had hundreds of years of scandals, power struggles, and ridiculous eras of control of their members, rules that must be followed, etc. One thing that I will defend however, is that the Catholic church does not stalk or intimidate its members. It doesn't make members of the church turn their backs on family members who choose to leave the faith. It doesn't continuously send people to your front door to "convince" you that your decision is wrong, that your "lost", that you "must re-think" leaving, because there are consequences. It is horrible...what is going to happen to my husband. He knows that it is coming, and he is preparing, but it will still hurt him deeply, and in turn, hurt me deeply. I don't understand how a church can allow, and actually ENCOURAGE such behavior.
This is an actual line, straight from the paperwork, which is 6 pages long, that is required online, to withdraw membership from the Mormon Church. Now, resignation takes time, perseverance, and obviously, the time is to notify all of your family and friends, so that they, in turn, can contact you and try to talk you out of your "obvious, horrendous mistake". They even ask for your current address, so that they can send any Missionaries within your area to your door to have discussions with you. It clearly states that you must state in your letter that you "resign" from the Church, not just ask for your name to be removed from their records. I found this amusing, as I just had an incident regarding this issue...I will get into that in a moment. So, 6 pages for this, and it's a huge deal. They seriously recommend that you have your letter notarized, and they also HIGHLY, (yes, they have it capitalized) recommend that you send it Priority Mail, to receive a confirmation that it was delivered, because "it has been discovered that they are more likely to return your letter if you do not". Wow. Okay, so, it says that the church can choose to make this difficult and it has been known to take up to three months for this to be completed. This is all very threatening, and so serious. It is as if you will be sent to prison or something. My husband hasn't attended church for years, yet he must endure all of this to stop people from knocking on our door trying to "save" him. The visits almost always happen after a visit from a family member, or a serious phone call from one. Thanks family....
This is an actual paragraph from the instructions:
Warning: If you live with people who are members of the church, they will almost certainty be told about your resignation. That is true whether the person you live with is a spouse, a parent, a sibling or even if they are just a roommate. If a relative lives in the same ward, branch or state that you do, they will probably be told about your resignation.
Who's damn business is this? Faith is a very personal thing, and it is a choice. If my husband chooses to leave the Mormon church, that is his right, that is his choice, and no ones damn business. Quite frankly, he didn't CHOOSE to be baptized Mormon, it was chosen for him. It was the faith that his parents believed in. He wasn't asked, he was never asked what he believed, what he wanted, what he chose to believe in. He is an adult, and now, he has decided, and they all need to deal with it, and either love him, or loose out on being in his life. Their loss. Their stupid choice to give up their son, brother, cousin, grandson, for a group of people who tell them what to think, what to believe, and who they can love. Shame on them.
Too much emphasis is being placed on religion and how you MUST think as they do, or you are out. This way of behavior goes against every single Deity, God, and Prophet that ever walked the face of the earth. Kindness, forgiveness, love, humility, charity, all of these are almost non-existent in today's faiths. The false front is there, but the dark reality is that there are rules, regulations, guidelines, and out right banishment if you don't play they way you are told to.
Earlier, I mentioned the bit about a name being removed from the Church. This is different from actually resigning. I read this to mean that your name will remain in the Church for the purpose of the levels of Heaven. I think this is there because of a recent discussion that I had with my mother in law, that in turn, became completely blown out of proportion by others, and in turn, resulted in me being shunned and the utmost enemy of my husbands family....again. My position of the discussion was that I did not agree with the Mormon practice of baptism of dead people, and those that were not Mormon in life, but for some reason, Mormons decide should be baptized into the Mormon faith after they have died. I find this practice appalling, offensive, and stated quite clearly, under no circumstances was anyone to do this to me, to which my mother in law told me, "who cares what you believe?" Um....I care. I don't believe the teachings of the Mormon church, so do not baptize me into a church that I do not believe in. This became extremely offensive as it went on, due largely to the fact that it was clear that it is about what makes the Mormon church feel better....not the person they are baptizing. Its not about faith...it's about MEMBERS. It's about what they are being told to do by their church, about going against another s faith and beliefs, yet all the while protesting that no one respects theirs. Don't worry about whether or not I'm gonna be in Heaven, your Heaven, any Heaven. Don't worry about me....let ME worry about me. Do NOT make a choice for me after I die that I did NOT make while I was alive. That is disrespectful, rude and WRONG.
Heresy (from Greek αἵρεσις, which originally meant "choice") is an accusation levied against members of another group which has beliefs which conflict with those of the accusers.
Being called a Heretic is actually a compliment as far as I am concerned. It means, "free thinker." Thanks. :-)
I believe that it is more important to be a moral person that to spend your life being a person of faith. Faith is flawed, faith is something that man developed. Being a moral person and living to be a good human being is what matters, in my opinion. To accept others, to accept their diversity, as you want them to accept yours. To accept others opinions, beliefs and way of life as you want them to accept yours. Don't try to force people in your life to believe what you believe. Don't try to force them to do anything. Love is not about force, control, or ultimatums. What works for you, may not work for another. Allow everyone to choose their own color. If we all colored our pictures in gray, what would make us smile? Life is here to live, don't waste it by waiting to die, and missing out on those times with those you love.
Sometimes, the ones you love never say it, and the way they treat you makes you wonder. As long as we are still here, breathing, and walking on this Earth, there is still time to change, to make things right. Hate, anger, and resentment all take too much effort. Love should be effortless.