Thursday, November 20, 2008

pigs can fly now, hell has frozen over, and the sky is falling!

The world is coming to an end on Sunday. Well, my world anyways. Jesse and I have been asked to go to Church. And we've decided to go.

This is particularly momentous for me because...well...I don't do Church any more. I only go when I'm home and my mom wants me to. The one time in recent memory where I tried to put my foot down and not go to Church because I feel like a hypocrit when I'm there, my mom flipped out and started this enormously unncessary family quarrel which did not end well.

Jesse's never been a fan of Church either for different reasons. I think he's just bored at Church. Me? Well, I'm idealogically opposed to a lot of what the Church preaches now (I'm all for 'doing onto others...' and helping those less fortunate, but not the anti-gay, anti-condom crap). But I continue to hold out hope for the Church. When the Catholic Church decides to evolve into the 21st century with practical teachings that apply to life today, then I'll happily go back.

We're going to Church because Jesse's parents have been asking us to join them for quite a few months now and because there's something *special* going on this Sunday (whatever that means. Jesse never presses his parents for the details. I'm nosy enough to ask for all pertaining information. I need to train him on that). The potential in-laws were very religious when Jesse was younger but became lapsed Baptists after that. Nearly a year ago, they started going to this Baptist Church in PG County (that's Maryland for you Cali folks) and feel especially inspired by the pastor there. Ever since then, they've been trying to get us to go.

Jesse went once without me. It was his mom's birthday and he went to Church to make her happy. I can certainly understand his rationale.

Part of me kinda wants to throw a tantrum and refuse to go. I've been feeling very anti-religion since the passage of Prop 8 in California. Another part of me knows it would be good to go and make a good impression on the potential in-laws (not that they don't like me already, but it never hurts to earn brownie points). Jesse wants to go because he knows it would make his parents happy. But is it worth going to Church if we're going for the wrong reasons? Going to Church to make others happy is not a good reason to go.

But we'll still go.

And hopefully, I won't burst into flames when my heathen self steps into the House of God.


Jilian said...

I would disagree on one point. "Going to Church to make others happy" is a perfectly fine reason to go.

You do other things 'to make people happy' and in most of those cases it qualifies as a good reason for said task. So why not church?

anOCgirl said...

jilian: perhaps I should clarify...'going to church to make other's happy' is not a good Christian reason to go unless you want to make God happy. I feel as though going to Church to be inspired by scripture or going to church to be closer to God or going to church to learn how to lead a proper life in the eyes of God are great reasons to go to church.

i am not going to church for those reasons.

therefore, i feel like a hypocrite for going. :(

Generation Next said...

If you are ideologically opposed to Church, then there is no reason you should feel guilty not going, nor should you feel like you should have to go just to earn brownie points, especially if those you are trying to earn brownie points will think that means you intend to continue going--which it sounds like you aren't. So going to please them is kind of pointless.

But if you don't feel strongly against not going, then by all means, go. Just make sure you don't accidentally promise to become a regular goer in the spirit of being nice.

Anonymous said...

You might want to consider wearing something flame retardant, just in case you do burst into flames :)

Also, why is that boys never ask questions? When my husband found out his best friend was having a baby he didn't get ANY information beyond the "there will be a baby" bit. No due date, no info on the momma, no info on the sex of said baby. Nothing. Drives me insane.

Juliet said...

Two things:

1. There are scary Baptists and there are not-so-scary Baptists. Jesse's parents might go to a not-scary church. It's at least worth a shot. I think it's okay to go once to make his family happy or for anthropological interest or whatever.

2. Re: your comments on the Catholic church--there are lay groups in the church working on behalf of issues you care about. If the church changes, it will be because of them. But I don't think you can expect an institution to change if you don't love it enough to be part of it. In the end, if you want to find God then you won't let other people get in your way, and if you're not in that place yet, you have to wait for that change to take place in you rather than in other people. Because other people--and the church they make up--are always going to be imperfect. (Yours truly, Exhibit A.)

/preachiness (sorry)

Oh, and I just want to give a shout out to some religious organizations that are mounting a legal challenge to Prop 8 (scroll down):,0,3163076.story

anOCgirl said...

GenNext: well, the Catholic in me feel genuinely guilty whenever I do anything half-assed. i do feel obligated to go b/c jesse's family wants us to. i think they want us to go so we can check it out and become regulars. i'm certainly not going to promise to be regulars unless i genuinely feel that way.

instatick: i'll take that into consideration! :)

jesse has never asked pertinent questions for as long as i've known him. he's totally satisfied knowing as little as possible. so i totally understand your frustration.

juliet: ha! i never even thought of the possibility of scary Baptists. i'll reserve judgment until after i go to church and check it out. right now, i have no idea what to expect.

regarding catholics...yeah, you're right. i tend to group the progressive catholics with the traditional catholics together. but i'm aware that there are some 'mavericks' out there. for example, i think Catholics for Choice is doing a great job and i had the pleasure of meeting the wonderful Frances Kissling, their former ED and faithful catholic pushing for choice/condom use, etc. her message has been publicly condemned by the church powers that be many, many times though.

in life, i pick my battles strategically. the catholic church has not changed significantly since they started saying mass in languages other than latin. the fight to change the church is looking uphill all the way. i have other battles ahead of me that i think i could help win before the church even decides to see change as an option.

i don't feel as though i need to find God by being in an organized religion. and perhaps i'm not looking for Him. as long as i strive to do good things and be a good person, i feel that i'm making God happy (and making me happy too).

thanks for the link. to others reading the comments, it's definitely worth checking out.

Zandria said...

It's been so long since I've been to church that I feel like pigs would probably be flying if I went, too.