Friday, February 19, 2010

Spiritual Journey I

This has been brewing for a long time. No, not my coffee even though it is getting a bit old now, but this thought that something has to give in my spiritual life.

I am not a religious fanatic or all that devout a Christian, despite decades of church going. Frankly it is the decades of church going that has turned me away from being devout. I have experienced more emotional damage at church than in any other setting, with the possible exception of some horrible employment experiences.

Born a Methodist by family tradition, I went to church off and on with my family, they were sort of casual church goers. In high school I got involved in a Methodist church with friends and experienced my first church politics. A split occurred between the traditionalist and the fundies who wanted hand waving, tongue speaking nonsense. Youth pizza parties turned into holy spirit filled, holy rolling festivals. I backed off, sensing that something was amiss. A friend at that time told me I was going straight to hell as I did not live and breathe Jesus as he did. We drifted apart.

Church, Protestant Christianity at least, for me was becoming a world of condemnation and terrorism. "One Way", "The Way", "if you don't you won't" was the message. I just do not see black and white. I just don't get it. If this god and Jesus are so powerful, why is there such death and evil? Can't they let the good guys win just once? If I asked these questions, I got stares of annoyance, disbelief and pity. I was prayed for, a lot.

As I went off to college, I strayed away from church for a long time, and did not miss it. Meeting new friends, doing things for the first time, being on my own, learning and doing was enough epiphany and revelation. Maybe I was becoming too smart to just blindly follow a dogma, just maybe there are many ways. Could Jesus, god, angels, Noah and all that be just a myth like Zeus, Athena and Thor? In 1979, I did not care. I was exploring life and realizing I had been given an even more amazing gift that would bring me great joy and heartache. Even though I had gotten married, I sensed I was different. "I am married...I can't be gay", became my prayer to someone or something unseen.

More to follow.

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