Friday, September 24, 2010

Spin Cycle: Religion

Soooo..the Spin Cycle's assignment this week is religion. Yeah I know...really? Do you really want to go there? actually, but I thought I might try my hand at it. PLEASE for the love of...don't leave me or think me a nut case (even if it might be true).

My faith. sigh.
Well lets try to start at the beginning. My earliest memory of church was in my own front yard. When I was little, I lived with a babysitter through the week and spent the weekends with my dad. The baby sitter's house was directly behind a small baptist church. We didn't go but her youngest daughter and I would sit on the porch and listen to the singing. That was our favorite part. When I spent the weekends with dad we would go to church on Sunday morning. I was all dressed up in my best dress, pearls and gloves. The hardest part was that I had to sit there with my knees and feet together, my hands lain in my lap and eyes forward. It was torture! BUT I always loved the singing part.

When dad remarried and I was yanked from the babysitter, suddenly we were going to church alot more often during the week. We was going every time the doors were open. I immersed myself in the choir and for a while that was good. I got baptized at the tender age of 7. As if I really knew what I was doing.

I watched my grandmothers go to church every Sunday. I believe they were both Methodist, but that doesn't really matter. Labels aren't necessary, they both believed in Christ and had faith. With all the adults in my life going to church, I knew it had to be something I MUST do.

We moved and changed churches, no make that denominations. It was the scariest thing I had ever seen, experienced and heard. These people were having seizures all in the name of the lord! I wanted NO part of that! So, instead I found another muse to keep me busy during church services. Friends or more accurately..boys. I really did try to not pay attention to the goings on. People throwing their arms all over the place, dancing in the isles and falling to the floor. I saw people being injured by the folks so enraptured in the throws of rejoice. I always wrapped my feet around the legs of the chair, just to keep them from getting stepped on. I would come home from church frustrated and at times angry. The somewhat fun time I had in Sunday school with my friends was long forgotten by time I got home. I remember even begging to just go to Sunday school and skipping the service. That never happened.

I was baptized once more, but didn't find it to be a glorious moment. So I soon forgot about it.

THEN we moved to Texas so my parents could attend the Christian collage. Our lives were all about the collage and learning the bible and of course church. I was now a pre-teen and starting to learn more than maybe I should, so some would say. I started analyzing the history of the bible and other faiths. Dad was going to be a missionary, so it was important to learn about other cultures. I don't think that my parents had any clue what was going through my brain and how it was affecting me.

Of course living in Texas and of course growing up, I was exposed to all types of religions and was learning the differences and the commonalities. It was all very confusing, so I was what some would consider a problem child.

There was another side to the church process that had me in near tears all the time. We were a poor family and as a teenager I struggled with this. The church that we were currently going to (our third so far in Texas), were mostly configured of middle class folks. The laughing joke of the church is what we became, the charity case. The other teenagers were cruel and never let me forget that we was poor. They would show up in the most beautiful dresses I had ever seen. Well after some time of being exposed to their cruelty, I begun to lose faith in the church going process.
I was baptized yet again and again it had no profound affect on me like I saw it do in others. That was the final straw! I knew it wasn't that I was bad, crazy or hopeless. It was the folks around me that made me feel that way.

I have been to church maybe a dozen times since I left home at 17. Not because I have anything against going to church, I have just known for along time that it is something that wasn't for me. The fashion contest, the damnation of other religions and the hypocrisy is too rampant and I don't want or feel the need to subject myself to that stuff. I'm a live and let live kinda girl. I would never try to tell someone what they must believe or do and I hope to get the same respect for my decisions. I don't take my decision lightly, I have spent nearly half my life in church and learning the bible or I should say forced to learn the bible. I know most religious folks wouldn't agree with my decision, they would say "If you don't get right with god then you are going to go to hell". Well, my response is always the same...We are good! We know where we stand with each other and we are good.

I have always disliked the separate denominations or even the label of Christianity. To me putting a label on oneself like that is like allowing folks to peek into your bedroom. It's my heart, soul, spirit or what have you. As long as I am at peace with myself and try to live a good life with no harm to others, then we are good! IF I was to put a label on myself..then it would have to be...ha! Thought I was going to tell, didn't ya!!
I had best stop here, before I alienate all my friends and have them running for the hills just to get away from the heathen. Go ahead and laugh mom, I know you want to!

This post is in NO way a mean spirited post. Just the ramblings of a woman who dug too deep for answers and didn't like what she found.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Luke 6:31
Yes, I dug my bible out for that one!

For more great spins, go visit Sprite's Keeper.


Sprite's Keeper said... [Reply to comment]

Great Spin! I didn't find it mean spirited at all, just a true telling of your experiences.
I do have a question on baptizms though. Are you baptized once or can it be repeated if you change churches?
You're linked!

Spot said... [Reply to comment]

I didn't think it was mean spirited either. I think religion is something highly personal. I have friends of many different faiths and as long as they don't try to convert me, we get along great. I have my own brand of spirituality that works for me.


Stacy Uncorked said... [Reply to comment]

I didn't find your post mean spirited at all, either. I think religion is a very personal choice, and I'm with you - I've never understood all that 'separation' between denominations, or the cliques and judgmental modes of some people. I don't buy into any of that! :)

SC: Confessions of a Non-Bible Thumper

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

I think there is a consensus. None of us have found you to be mean spirited. I think you just told what was in your heart and I, for one, enjoyed it! Great Spin Heather.

Carol said... [Reply to comment]

Heather, with those kind of experiences in your childhood, you'd have the right to become mean-spirited. But you were no - you were honest. The freedom of choice - that's one thing that is so special about our country.

Pseudo said... [Reply to comment]

If the majority of the church going crowd had a live and let live attitude like you, I would go to church more often.

SuziCate said... [Reply to comment]

Not mean spirited at all! Good spin. Wish everyone lived by the golden rule.

Rose said... [Reply to comment]

thanks for your comment on my latest post. I heard what you said that i don't have to thank you. I have a strong belief that we should show appreciation otherwisw we get very sloppy and forget people efforts. That's just me don't want to take people for granted. now, your post was fine. i hear what you shared. it's understanble that sometimes those who go to church don't act kindly to others. I don't think people should be put on the spot to go to church or where. It's more important that a person believes that learning to comfort,help,accept people of different backgrounds is what "the inner self church"is what it's all about. rose

Jimmy said... [Reply to comment]

Nothing mean spirited here Heather, I think a whole lot of us fall into the same category you have described, I love a good church but better yet I love my belief in God and Family and like you said as long as we live a good life without harming anyone else then we are good.

I have been good without a church home for a very long time and I know I am good with God.

Excellent Post my Friend.

kathryn said... [Reply to comment] you were baptized three times??

That's a LOT, isn't it??

You poor thing...I'm not surprised you're ambivalent about religion after all you've dealt with growing up.

And you're right,'s being a good person that counts most of all.