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March 25, 2005 / allyo

Hoppy Easter

No, no picture, sorry. I had grand plans of staging our own little easter photo shoot but I’ve been too damn tired. So tired the babe and I crashed at 7:30 last night. I woke up this morning feeling almost human. Like a tired human, but better than I’ve felt in about a month.

MD and I were raised Catholic and both parted ways with the church some time after we graduated from our (Catholic) high school. Yes, our. We went to the same grade and high school, can you believe it? He was a year behind me and I never knew him.

It took me a good decade to make peace with the fact that I would never be comfortable in the Catholic Church. I loved my religion growing up. I loved to say the rosary and my bedtime prayers with my grandpa. I loved to play guitar and sing in grade school. I baked the eucharist bread for every single school mass my junior and senior years in high school. I grew up in a progressive Catholic bubble, and when I realized the reality of the Church, er, Rome’s, teachings it was devastating.

My discomfort began with all the usual issues – premarital sex, abortion, birth control. With those I could play the American Catholic game of taking what I liked and ignoring the rest. Bigger doubts set in when I spent the summer in Italy in 1993 (studying Italian in a tiny mountain village…ah, heaven). The Italian twenty-somethings we met HATED the Pope. He was like a personal enemy to them. Why? Because the church preached against birth control and with AIDS a huge concern at the time they saw this as not only dangerous but absolute proof the Vatican was sadly out of step with the needs and concerns of its flock.

What finally did it for me was the Church’s stance on homosexuality. Like a warped version of "don’t ask, don’t tell," the last I checked the official stance is, it’s ok to be gay as long as you don’t live the "lifestyle." Now putting aside my indignation at the fact that the word lifestyle indicates choice, and no one I know that is gay feels their orientation is a choice, the fact that the Church feels that condeming a person to life without love and partnership is perfectly hunky dory was more than I could stomach. I couldn’t rationalize it away – it’s a shitty, inhumane policy. Psychotic stalkers and serial killers aside, no one is going to hell because of love.

So, I’ve been religion-less for forever it seems, but once I got over my anger at organized religion in general and Catholicism in particular I realized I missed being a part of that community and I knew once we had a kid I wanted some kind of religion or spirituality to be a part of that child’s life. There’s a local unitarian universalist church I like ok although the head minister guy is kind of a windbag. (I want to call everyone a priest and can’t ever remember the generic holy title – reverend?) It’s not quite religious enough for Mad Dog but he’ll tolerate it. I don’t really identify myself as a Christian anymore so that quality is perfect for me.

The problem with Easter is the UU flower ceremony just doesn’t seem to cut it, so I’m thinking of trying the Unity church just down the street from us. MD will grumble I’m sure, but even though the Boy is still too young to understand I feel the need to get our family traditions in gear.

Regardless of where we end up Sunday morning, if anywhere, Sunday afternoon we’ll spend with my dad’s extended family. I love my aunts and cousins to pieces and can’t wait for everyone to see the Boy. It’s only been a month or two since most of them have seen him but he’s changing at a breathtaking pace these days. Last year Easter was the first big gathering we went to after announcing the pregnancy and we were showered with Easter and spring baby gifts. This year it took all my willpower not to buy the Boy an Easter basket because 1) what the hell would I put in it? and 2) I’m sure once again Sunday we’ll leave with all the Easter and spring stuff we could want.

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