Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Are you there God?

For the past few months, Grace has been asking more and more questions about God and church. Some of her friends go to church, and one little friend from school has taken it upon herself to teach my poor little heathen child some good old bible basics.

When I was growing up, I attended church with my mom up to a certain age. I didn’t like church. I didn’t like Sunday-school. The stories they told and the pictures they showed gave me nightmares. I didn’t get the part about being forgiven – it was my understanding that if I fucked up, that was it, game over, straight to hell for me. I also thought the kids at Sunday school smelled funny and the sandwiches tasted strange.

I also grew up in a HEAVILY white, Christian-ish community. Not a whole lot of opportunity to explore difference cultures and religions. In fact, anyone with even a hint of something different about them was the object of scrutiny. One little Jehovah’s Witness girl fueled many a rumor in grade 2 (really, the idea of not celebrating Christhmas or birthdays? That suckths!) And the one Pakistani family in the community had a son who was mentally challenged. In my very young years, I remember assuming Pakistani=mentally challenged. Horrible, right?

Back to the church thing. As you can imagine, I gave up on the church early. Never balked at it, but also never embraced it. In my teens, a *situation* forced me to study the 12 steps of AA. This program has a heavy spiritual component to it that forces you to put faith in a higher power. Rather than embrace God as he stars in the bible, I chose to embrace a loving entity whom I did not call God. And she was a woman. And we made our own rules, and this still works for me today when I need a little hit o’ faith.

Still with me? So, when Grace poses me questions about God and church, I don’t really feel that I am the best person talk to. That brings me to this coming Sunday. I am taking the girls to their first church service at a Unitarian church. This church sounds like Shangri-La to me, where all religions are embraced, explored, and they even have a statement on their website stating that they welcome same-sex couples, transgendered, transsexual, cross-dressing, (I’m sure I’m missing something) peoples.

I hope they welcome princesses. Edie will insist on a regal outfit for this one.


Chantal said...

I think that you will LOVE the Unitarian Church! Let us know how it goes.

mare ad mare said...

Same upbringings as you - and have had some of those questions in the past with our girls. I let Gpa and Gma take them to church (United Church) when we go home, but don't do too much about it otherwise. I will let the girls choose, and don't play favorites.

I'm getting to be more and more of a karma guy - not in the hippie way, but that everything happens for a reason. Does that involve some guy in the sky? Who knows...
Good luck !

alison said...

My girls have been asking to go to church ever since we went to see some of their friends acting in a church play. One of these Sundays I'll take them.

Nat said...

Interestingly I have take a totally different tack. So The Man wasn't raised in Christian household, I was raised Catholic. He's a 12-stepper too -- and well, we have taken the "some people believe that Jesus..." but explain that are beliefs are kind of sort cafeteria Buddhist.

~*Jobthingy*~ said...

not just the kids but the whole sunday school smelled funny to me.

youll have to let us know how it went

xup said...

I don't think there's anything wrong with telling your girls exactly what you believe and then telling them that not everyone believes the same thing with maybe a brief synopsis of the different types of religions out there and the important point that they all have in common a belief in a higher power -- they just give it different names and come to it in different ways. One nice minister once told me he believed that God made all the people of the world different and then gave them each a symbol through which to reach him/her that fit in best with their particular culture.