Sunday, November 9, 2008

A crisis of faith

I am Christian. I believe in God and Jesus. I grew up Catholic (though my family is pretty much non-practicing). I have always considered myself to be Catholic. After I divorced, I avoided church for a while, unsure of where I fit in. I finally made peace with that, I started researching Catholic annullments, and started attending church on a regular basis. I found it comforting. I enrolled Jake in CCD, and we made church part of our lives. When Michael died, I got mad at God for a while and stopped going. Then I tried to go back, but just being at Mass became so emotional for me that I had to leave in the middle of it. I don't think I've been back since.

Since then, our church stopped offering regular CCD classes, and started some "total family" classes, which I didn't really want to be a part of. So we have been completely away from church for a couple of years now.

Jake mentions church sometimes. I think he misses it. I think I'd like to go back. But I don't think I can bring myself to rejoin the Catholic church. I have mostly two issues, one being the whole pro-life/pro-choice thing, and the bigger issue being the Roman Catholic church's view on homosexuality. I believe in equal rights and acceptance for homosexuals. And I don't feel like I can go back to the church.

I've been doing a little research, I think there are a couple of Christian churches in my area that accept homosexuality. (There's even a Free Catholic Church, but there isn't one in my area.) So I'm thinking about checking them out. And while that might be a happy answer to my problem, I'm still feeling very sad about my loss of my church. Not sure I can articulate it, but I'm feeling it.

9 comments:

Jess said...

As a non-believer, I don't think I can really offer comfort or advice on the loss of your church or where you fit in with your faith, but as a raging queer I am enheartened by people of all faiths who seek out ways to follow their spiritual path while doing right by as many people as they can.

Or maybe it's just the wine causing that warm sensation. Either way, I hope you find a congregation that brings you what you need, though the adjustment may be difficult at first.

Cazzle said...

See, yet another compelling reason for you both to come live in England. You could be C of E! It's Christianity with gays and stuff!

Ok, silly side over. I really am sorry for how you're feeling; I'm not religious myself but loss is loss, whatever the subject. I hope if you wind up with the FCC, or whoever else, that you find the peace and fulfillment to make up for how you're feeling at the moment. {hugs}

p.s. I still think you should come here though. We have bunnies! xxx

Annika said...

Have you tried the Unitarian Universalists? They're sort of a multi-faith church and everyone I've met who's involved with them is super-cool.

Annika said...

Their website: http://www.uua.org/visitors/

(The only time I've been to a UU church was for a bazaar, but they seem awesome.)

Meg said...

Laurie, if you don't mind, I'm going to email this post to some friends of mine in this area. They are Christians and now attend a progressive Catholic church (crazy, huh?) that accepts all types of people. They LOVE it. Perhaps they have a sister congregation in your area.

Lolly said...

Thanks, everyone for your kind replies. This is something I've been struggling with for quite a while, but just in my head. This is the first time I've said it out loud (even though 'out loud' means 'typed on the interwebs'). Thank you guys for always being there to listen to me.

The Free Catholic Church is only active in a few states. Perhaps in a few years they will have spread to my area.

The closest UU church is just a couple towns away, it would be feasible, but the site says they only have 20 members, which is kind of a deal-breaker for me.
When I go to church, I want to blend in, anonymously, with the crowd. I can't do that with 20 people.

I found a Gays-for-Christianity website, and they provided a list of, in their words, "accepting" religions. And I've found a couple of churches in my town that might fit the bill. Of course, I will have to see how I feel about the church itself. I mean, I know I said I'm Christian, but those really REALLY Christiany people who are in your face loving you and everyone else and want to be your best friend and have Jesus save you -- they kind of creep me out.

And of course, I'll have to discuss this all with Jake. Because so far I've raised him Catholic, and now I'm going to suddenly say that hey, that's wrong, let's find something else! Which is exactly what I'm going to say, but of course I'm going to word it much better. And it will be the first time I've said out loud that I don't think I can be Catholic any more.

jenn said...

Aww, good for you in looking for a gay happy church!

Churches need more of you in them.

Eileen said...

Your issue with Catholicism are exactly my issues with it. In fact, I feel like I could have almost written this post, word for word. Except that you're a much stronger person to leave the church and look for something else. I've considered it before, seriously considered it, but never really done much more than that, for various reasons including the feeling of loss you described, and also reasons to do with my family and how they would take it. They are weak and selfish reasons, but they're my reasons nonetheless.

Amanda said...

I'll ditto what Eileen said.

I like my church, except for the stances on homosexuality and women in the pulpit. So far, I've been able to live with the conflict, but I'm not sure how long that can last.