Tuesday, September 1, 2009

an open mind

I should know better than to broach a serious topic on C before 7 am, but for some reason, religion was on my mind this morning. I think I saw something on the news last night, or over the weekend- some mucky-muck in the Roman Catholic Church was complaining that Ted Kennedy's funeral mass should not have been allowed in a Catholic Church because he supported equal rights for gays and a woman's right to choose whether or not to carry a pregnancy. C and I were both raised Catholic, but lapsed long ago, before we met. I don't know his reasons, exactly, but I couldn't stomach a religion that worked so hard to exclude people. As a woman, I felt excluded myself. My only role, it seemed, was to have kids and repopulate the Church. So I stopped going in my senior year of high school, and have returned only for weddings, christenings, and funerals.

In spite of our having turned away from Catholicism, both C and I appreciate the fact that we learned something about God when we were children. I think we would not have been equipped to make educated decisions about our personal faith without that foundation- CCD and Sunday school as kids; C even went to a Catholic high school for a couple of years. Initially, we believed we would have our baby christened in the Catholic Church, and we'd start going to mass again, as a family, to provide a similar foundation for our children.

Then I saw that interview on the news and was reminded how exclusionary the Church can be. I will not send my child to a closed-minded institution to learn about God. So, we now have about 7 months to figure out what religion we'll adopt as adults. I want to find a church that teaches acceptance and inclusion, that emphasizes the similarities between people and celebrates diversity. Whether we have a son or daughter, I want my child to feel valued in the religious community.

So, I'm curious what religions are out there that are more open-minded (I'm guessing there are few more closed-minded), and would love to get some feedback from whatever audience I have today. Are you practicing any particular religion? How does your faith make you feel welcome and valued?

C and I will talk about this some more. Probably a lot more; but not before 7 am.


BB said...

You might be interested in reading this article: US Views on God and Life... http://www.newsweek.com/id/212155

Gabby said...

hello B.

Thanks for visiting my blog. I grew up in the Catholic Church, too.. and have turned away for several reasons.. you know they also don't believe in IVF, right?
i recommend searching with your husband.. look online and just plan to go to two different churches a month and just test it out.

it's weird being catholic, because you don't do that. you go to your neighborhood parish. that's it.

but other folks, they do a little church shopping and see where they feel comfortable.

we did that, and ended up with the evangelical free denomination. great people great music, great pastor..

good luck!

Lisa said...

I've thought about this too. I was raised Lutheran (kinda), but never really got into any of it. My husband wasn't even baptized, but he's probably more religious than me. I wonder if we should bring our future kids to church too, but I have the same concerns with the exclusionary and guilt-inducing aspects of many religions. And church always made me feel really uncomfortable. I look forward to reading about anything you might discover!

By the way, I see on your ticker than you're almost done with the first trimester. CONGRATS!!! I hope you have fun with your sweatshirts! Is that happening this weekend??