That was it. A simple sentence and I was offended and insulted and mad. I stated, “Just because I don’t go to church doesn’t mean I don’t pray. I pray. A lot actually.”She said, “Oh well – I don’t know how you feel about religion anymore.”
Yah – you don’t….because you assume that going to church regularly = a strong religion. Period. You can be the biggest assbag in the county but if you go to church – somehow you’ve one-upped me in the religion department.No matter what I do or say or how I live my life. You base my relationship with my God on my attendance at a church for one hour a week.
I grew up in a strict, Catholic home. You didn’t miss church unless you were dead. Every week I was forced to go my whole life and I never understood much of it until I was older. When I got married, I made the choice to stop going. Contrary to popular belief…that doesn’t mean my faith stopped too.You can believe what you want to – however – I can’t wrap my head around God only loving me if I sit in his house once a week. I sit in his house 24 hours a day – wherever I am. I don’t understand how it would benefit my kids to be forced to do what I was forced to do. It didn’t work…because today I make the choice not to go.
I’m technically a Catholic but I’m not a good one. I believe in birth control. I believe in the death penalty for people like the guy who raped a 2 year old that my husband has to treat nicely every day. I don’t believe in abortion – for me. However, I believe that every woman has to make that choice and I cannot and will not tell another woman that what I feel is the right thing for me is also right for them.I have faith. A grounded, deep faith that I rely on in my most desperate moments. When I see the beauty of nature or profound kindness – I attribute that to God. I strive to be a better, nicer, and more compassionate human every day and I’m not too proud to admit that most days I fail.
I believe in a God who loves me for trying. I believe in a God that bases my life on how I lived it, how I treated people and what’s in my heart vs how many times I sat in a church. I may be Catholic but I don’t believe that’s the only religion out there or the only one that matters or it’s the “right one” and all others are wrong. I just can’t believe that.There are many other religions that don’t believe weekly church gets you into heaven…and what if they’re right and we’re wrong? Who the hell knows?
I find it utterly ironic that you – the almighty never miss a week of church person – find it okay to judge me and my faith and what I do and don’t do. I find it amazing that once a week church hasn’t made you a more understanding and empathetic person.I see this everywhere in the people that never miss church. I can’t lie and tell you that I’m not resentful of some of those people who have been nothing but hurtful towards me…because I am. What did church do for that person? Not a damn thing if you ask me. It only allowed that person to meet their weekly quota per the rules. And look down upon me, I guess.
And maybe you’ll say I’m justifying and rationalizing my inability to sacrifice one hour of my time for a God that has blessed me so much and maybe you’re right about that too.Accuse me of anything. Tell me I’m a terrible Catholic. Tell me you’re disappointed in me that I’m not a model church-go-er. Tell me I’m a terrible mother for not forcing my children to be a part of a religion that I myself, question at the deepest levels.
Tell me anything you want if it makes you feel better to judge me. If that’s what going to church every week helps you to do and feel good about it – do it.But there’s one thing you cannot do. Don’t you dare question my faith.
When I lost my best friend to suicide and every night I prayed to God to not let me wake up in the morning – He listened…and let me live. When I screamed at him in anger and wept for hours wondering why – I know now that He was the only thing that pulled me through that….because no other human did. Least of all anyone who went to church every week. You church-go-ers didn’t even notice I was a teenager dying.When I was in the throes of a severe depression and could not eat, sleep or move from bed – my heart was praying and begging God for help even if my brain was just trying to hang on for one more second.
When I had a baby in the NICU and missed Rambo so much that it was a physical hurt…God was with me. Every single second.And in the most beautiful, joyous moments of my life – He was there then too and you can bet your ass I didn’t forget to be grateful or thank him 1000 times before I laid my head down at night.
What I have with my God is mine. It is exactly what I need – nothing more, nothing less. I could literally care less what any other human on this Earth has or doesn’t have with their own God. It is none of my concern.Question my religion all day long and twice on Sundays while you’re sitting in church.
But do not question my faith. Just don’t.