Monday, May 2, 2011

Losing my religion (or finding a new one, rather...)

Yesterday, my fiancé and I headed up to North Georgia for a meeting with our minister.  While on our drive, we had a conversation about "religion."

Some background: I was raised Catholic.  My fiancé was raised Southern Baptist.  To put that into perspective for non-Christians or people who don't follow religious differences, Catholicism on one end, Southern Baptists on the other.  It's just like that.

I never really had an issue with the Catholic faith.  I loved my church [in New York.] I had some qualms with some of its teaching (including, but not limited to: birth control is bad and the Bishops' and Pope's word is it, and The Bible, that's it, too.  No interpretation.  No questioning.  Just "abide.")

I'm not a big fan of Southern Baptists either.  Yes, I've been to several services "back in the day," and I wasn't impressed.  There's just something about constantly being told you're going to Hell with the whole fire and brimstone sermons that leaves a bad taste in my mouth.  You're supposed to love a God...and fear a God...and constantly be concerned that you're going to Hell: have a nice day :)

My fiancé has been to one Catholic mass.  He was confused.  Of course, no one ever gave him a First Communion playbook on how mass operates so how was he to know other than watch everyone else? Kneel.  Stand.  Kneel. Stand. Sit. Kneel. Sit. Stand. Walk. Kneel. 

We came to this conclusion: We can be respectful of other peoples' religions without claiming to be "spiritual," but we wanted to find a Christian religion to which we both could "belong."

Where to start?  We knew what we both believed, and we both wanted to find a religion where we didn't have to give up our beliefs.  For example...birth control.  Yes, please.  We're steadfast on that.  We'd prefer a religion that says "it's okay" versus one that says "it's not okay," and do it anyways. 

We meet with our minister yesterday.  He's a spry older Irish fellow.  He strikes up a conversation with us, and he asks us what religious backgrounds we have.  We tell him, "Catholicism" and "Southern Baptist."  He looks at us and says, "whoa.  Talk about 'different!'" I tell him it's funny he should say that, and I relay our conversation in the car (not only is he an ordained minister, but he also has a PhD in psychology.) 

After speaking with him about our beliefs, our backgrounds, etc. we *think* we have found a church (or rather religious following) we would like to pursue as a couple: episcopalian/anglican.

When I told my mother this on the phone, she said, "you know who in our family was episcopalian, right?"  (No.)  "Pop...and all of Pop's family." 

With our new information, we set out to find an Episcopalian Church or two.  We found one in Marietta and one in Smyrna.  We're going to try a service at both and go from there.

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