Friday, May 6, 2011

30 Day Challenge: Day 4

Your views on religion.

This is a strangely timely question.

My relationship with my religion is complicated. And confusing.

I was raised a Catholic, the kind of legit Catholic that went to Mass every Sunday, not just Christmas an Easter. I went to Catholic school from 7th-12th grade, and was somewhat active in youth ministry-type activities as a teen/early 20s (retreat leader and speaker, etc). In college, I was once part of a team to chaperone 50+ 8th graders on a bus trip to Atlanta for 5 days.

I went to college, and was facisinated by a specific Religious Studies professor. That led to me taking every single one of the classes he taught (6) which led to a Religious Studies minor and a crush on a 70 year old (the professor).

(Not really relevant, but whatever).

During college, I was exposed - for the first time - to a variety of religions. The aforementioned professor was Jewish, as was a good sorority friend. I grew really close to some Lutheran relatives. I had classes with Muslims. My experiences with members of other religions widened.

Simultaneously, I began to be a more critical thinker. I learned that my own thoughts and opinions and feelings didn't jive with the Catholic Church's, in a whole lot of ways: women's roles within the church, the relationship between homosexuality and sin, the permissability of birth control, and probably a whole lot more.

Realizing this, I questioned whether or not I was actually a "Catholic". Yes, I was baptized. Yes, I went to Church with my family. Is that what makes a Catholic?

Or is there something more - a feeling, a way of life, a set of beliefs?

Does this make me a Catholic? If that answer is no, then what?

I like being a Catholic. I like being the same religion as my parents, my brothers, my fiance, my in-laws. I like being part of this tradition. I am excited to get married within the Church.

I guess I'll close this how I began: My relationship with my religion is complicated. And confusing. I don't have the answers, but I'll let you know if I find them.

1 comment:

  1. I love your posts on religion - it's like reading my own thoughts, just from someone with a more solid foundation in a single religion. I've always wondered if I'd feel differently than I do about religion and choice if I had been raised, say, Catholic instead of agnostic.

    Until you find "answers," let the fact that you are beautiful (in all ways,) kind, generous and loving be answer enough. :)

    ReplyDelete

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