Friday, July 13, 2012

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Raising children is a leap of faith: we guide, model, and talk 'til we're blue in the hopes that our efforts will create adults who are happy, compassionate, successful individuals. And more often than not the modeling poses the greatest pitfalls.

Not too long ago Boy joined an organization for kids. It seemed the perfect opportunity for him to socialize and enjoy a sport for which he was quickly developing a passion. Things seemed great until Hubby took him to an event. Suddenly, our eyes were opened to some not so subtle undertones of elitist and racist beliefs the members held. As Hubby told me, if it had just been a couple of the teens using the n-word we could chalk it up to a few bad eggs, but these comments were heard and overlooked by parents again and again. Though it was difficult, we pulled Boy from the group.

As parents we knew we couldn't condone such beliefs by remaining a part of it, and though we could have spoken against it - after all such behavior flies in the face of their mission - but we felt it wasn't our place and would not benefit Boy. So, Hubby searched until he found another club for Boy and I am happy to report it has been a great fit for our family and our values.

It was easy to walk away from that. But, I am struggling, daily, with walking away from another group that has values/rules that are an affront to me. It is my religion.

I am not a lapsed Catholic. I am a disgruntled Catholic.

 Raising three girls in a church that clings to old systems denying women the same rights as men in too many instances is a problem for me. Being a part of a religion in which my children have been told that being gay is a sin - by teachers not clergy, and therefore easy for me to explain away at the time - is an issue. Living in an age of reason, when the Church seems to be reverting further back through history is unacceptable to me. Yet I have not left. WHY?

Because I am a sucker for tradition. I love the ritual and the peace and having the words when my own fail me. I want my children to be a part of that, to have words when everything else seems to be falling apart. There are things I adore about the Catholic Church. Beliefs I hold close in my soul.

But, it may be time for me to move on - to find a church that holds the same values regarding society as I do, values I want my children to have as adults. I have asked the kids to attend a service (is it called a mass at an Episcopal church?) this weekend. It makes me nervous, not that I haven't attended services at other churches, but I haven't been "scouting" them before. Will we have to be rebaptised, recommunioned, and reconfirmed? I don't know. But, for the sake of modeling I think I have to look into it.

On the bright side, since I continue to make mistakes with the "new words" the Catholic Church is using it may be a good time to change...

1 comment:

  1. I fully understand your frustration, even at my age I disagree. But what the Church needs is for all clear, progressive thinkers to make their thoughts known and continue to try to update what the elderly gentlemen in Rome seem to not understand. Pray for guidance and I wish you luck in your investigations. Mary
    PS what we need is another Italian in there!


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