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Welcome to my blog. One Busy Momma is my space to rant about my life and the things that happen in it. I have a crazy life - and instead of focusing on the crazy - I like to focus on the funny. Because if I focused on the craziness - well, I'd have been shipped off to an institution long, long ago. And while, I'll admit, there are some days when being institutionalized sounds PRETTY GOOD compared to making ANOTHER diorama at 1am - I'd rather be right where I am - in my messy house with my not so perfect kids making crooked dioramas in the middle of the night.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Losing My Religion

…That's me in the corner

That's me in the spotlight
Losing my religion
Trying to keep up with you
And I don't know if I can do it
Oh no I've said too much
I haven't said enough

Losing My Religion by: REM

I’ve been thinking of this song – a lot lately. I’m experiencing what some might call a crisis of religion. NOT to be confused with a crisis of FAITH. My faith in God is rock solid. In fact, I find that as I am getting older, I am becoming MUCH more spiritual, but much LESS religious.

I was born and raised Catholic; I baptized my kids Catholic and even sent them to Catholic school so that they could get a solid grounding in their religion. But I have a confession to make – I don’t think I’m really Catholic anymore. I truly believe that if I went in front of some sort of Roman Catholic Tribal Council and was asked to outline and explain my true beliefs – I’m pretty sure I’d be voted off of the island. For good – and I’m ok with that. In fact – I am more than ok with that. I’m not so sure that I want to be a member of that particular tribe anymore.

Then end of this particular romance started for me when it started for many of my generation – when the abuse scandals began to make headlines. This will sound awful – but the actual abuse wasn’t what did it for me – it was the cover-ups by the so called leaders of the church – the pastors, the bishops and higher – that really did me in. I’m not going to wax poetic on this topic – much has been said and I have nothing unique to add. But I can point to these scandals as the beginning of the end for me.

Then there are all of the ridiculous rules and rituals that are sometimes hard to explain to my children – like why can’t we eat meat on Fridays in Lent? How is that a sacrifice for someone who is a vegetarian? Um – good point guys. What am I supposed to say? Well kids– the real reason is that when this particular rule was put into place, the pope’s sister was married to a fishmonger. This particular fishmonger wasn’t the most successful guy in the strip mall – so she came up with this great idea, sent a text to her bro who was sitting on the Papal throne in Rome and said – “Hey bro – I’ve got a great idea – make everyone give up meat on Fridays during Lent!” And KA-POW! A new ritual was born, supposedly from God’s lips to the Pope’s ears and let’s just say that a certain fishmonger’s wife got a whole new wardrobe. True story – look it up. I won’t even get into the voo-doo like rituals so many of us grew up with like burying religious statues in your front yard if you want your house to sell, or praying to this saint or that saint depending on what you need. OK – so if you lose your keys – pray to St. Anthony. If you want to lose 25 pounds by Friday? St. Jude is your guy. Want to get pregnant and can’t? Well, St, Anne might help – but your go-to gal? St. Rita. Sore throat? St. Blaise. (Yes Peeps – this fount of useless knowledge is what 16 years of Catholic School bought my dad.)

But my real issue – the issue that I just cannot get past is this: I don’t think that today’s church has ANYTHING to do with Jesus. Like – nada – nothing. I truly believe that if JC came down tomorrow to live among us that he’d be pretty disgusted by what has become of his church. I do not think that he’d be putting:”join local parish and sign up to get my weekly envelopes” on his “To Do” list. Today’s church is SO archaic, SO far removed from her people and the reality in which we live, it is amazing that ANYONE continues to attend mass. I attribute this to our Pope and his cronies. They have worked diligently to take the church almost back to pre-Vatican II days. Have you gone to mass lately? As if we all weren’t guilty enough just because of the Catholic guilt that has been beaten into our conscious and subconscious minds for years – now the language of the mass makes one aware that we are ALWAYS guilty of something. Try saying “my fault, my fault, my grievous fault” while beating your breast – and feeling good about yourself. I dare you. And I don’t want this for my children.

So – what to do? Well, today the news from Rome is that the Pope is resigning. First guy to do it in 600 years – the balls on this guy! And while I’d like to think that this will bring great sweeping change to the Catholic Church, the reality of the process is that it won’t. This Pope has put people in place who are just as backwards and conservative as he is. We have no hope of seeing a real Jesus centered church evolving from the coming change in leadership. The cardinals will elect a new Pope who is just as conservative as Benedict – if not more so.

So – I have no choice. I’m throwing my hat into the ring. I’d like to be considered for the job. I feel that my qualifications are unquestionable. I was born and raised RC, I have actually lived a real life in the real world and experienced real issues and problems. I am also married and a mother of 3. I have lost a child, a father-in-law and 2 beloved grandparents – so I understand what it is to lose people and grieve. That gives me much more real-life experience than any of the other candidates who have never been married, gone through childbirth, parenting and the grief of losing a child. Not for nothing – but if you’re going to stand up in front of people and tell them how to live their lives – you should probably actually LIVE A REAL LIFE.

If elected, I would change quite a few things. First and foremost – I’d have a serious “Come to Jesus” with all of the priests, nuns, deacons, bishops, cardinals and other muckety mucks. If you want to live like Jesus – then let’s live like Jesus. If vows of poverty are good for nuns – then they should be good for the boys too. Unless they are married – which would be encouraged and eventually required. Oh – and there would be no more nuns. Sorry ladies – but you gals need to be up on the altar. Married priests – male or female – immediately cool with me. No more hand-maidens to the boys.

Then, of course, there would be the issue of apologizing to the gays, the women, the children and anyone else the church has marginalized, persecuted and discriminated against throughout the centuries. Everyone would be welcomed. We would treat to the Old Testament as a lovely historical artifact and a valuable tool to help us understand how people used to think and behave. But NOT as the word of God . (Bacon would still be allowed Peeps.) NOT as a rule book or as a tool to discourage those who are “different” from ourselves from entering into a relationship with God and the greater community.

My church would be “Pro-family”. Meaning – if we are going to value the lives of the unborn – then we will support their mothers once they bring them into this world. We would trade in some of our fancy, pointy hats, designer dresses and solid gold walking sticks for diapers, formula, safe housing and high quality daycare for poor mothers who bring babies into this world. We will value those babies once born as loudly as we clamor for them while they are in-utero. Oh – and what you decide to do in your bedroom would be YOUR business. As long as your habits are healthy – more power to you. My church would encourage the teaching of our sexuality as a gift from God, something precious that deserves to be guarded and shared ONLY with someone you love and someone who loves you. Something WONDERFUL and GLORIOUS and CLEAN and HEALTHY. As long as what you’re doing isn’t hurting you or anyone else then – hey – if the boat is a rockin – my church won’t come a knockin!

Now I realize that my campaign will be a hard fight. The establishment doesn’t want ANY of my ideas to be put in place. I imagine that the Tribal Council would label me a heretic and burn me at the stake. That’s cool. I’m OK with being this generation’s Joan of Arc. As long as it would bring change and awareness and a real church – a church that JC himself would look at and say: “Yeah Peeps! You got it right!”

A girl can dream…

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