Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The holidays...from a nonstandard point-of-view.

C and I talked a little last year about the holidays - I think he was trying to distract me from my grandfather passing away in early December - and we came to a conclusion about a few things.

Before I go into that, though, I should give a little background.
Both C and I were reared in the Catholic faith, and attended Catholic schools. We both began to question the teachings of the Church early - in my case, I was in middle school. I believe he began to question things earlier than that. I don't know anything further regarding his separation from the teachings of the Church, but I know my final separation came after 2000, the details of which I will discuss another time.

Anyway, long story short, neither C nor I attend church, follow any Christian rituals, or really believe in the whole "one god" approach to faith. We've been celebrating Christmas as a secular holiday, and focus on the family closeness, food, and giving of ourselves (in the form of gifts, time, etc). We try to avoid too much materialism, and attempt to keep the holiday somewhat understated in our home. He doesn’t really subscribe to any faith, as it were – he’s too logical for that. Me, on the other hand…I believe in the possibility of something greater, but not the idea of a monotheistic religion. It just doesn’t make sense to me.
I've started to read more into the Druid faith - both current traditions, as well as what (limited) information is available of the ancient traditions. While I cannot say I'm a follower of this particular faith, I agree with some aspects of it. I continue to read about it as I get time, though I find time is a bit lacking of late. Chalk it up to working on getting more physical activity into my daily routine.

This year, I sortof celebrated the Solstice. I gave C a small gift and had a very small candle ceremony when I got up to see the eclipse (though I missed the eclipse itself). I expected it to feel silly, but it didn’t…it wasn’t anywhere near what I feel when I used to go through the motions at Mass.

Awhile back I asked what religions/faiths you follow, but I didn’t really get into it. I don’t know if it was merely a lack of desire to get into a discussion, or an outright aversion to it, but I’d like to talk about it now: what do you believe? Are you a member/follower of an organized religion? Are you a Buddhist? Pagan? Follower of the Flying Spaghetti Monster?


Unknown said...

Well first of all, you need to have commenting options beyond Google Account or OpenID. Thou shalt allow thy Blogger account to accept name/url. There. I hath proselytized thee. ;P

Ah, religion. The stuff of peace and war. I guess you could say that I'm not 'religious.' I am a follower of Christ, but I reject the concept of the church being my telephone to God. I don't believe that my personal relationship with God is really anyone's business but God's and mine. Not that I mind sharing, I just don't want it fed to me or overlooked by an Earthly authority as though I'm a child and might do something naughty. I do attend church (when I don't sleep in), but I don't believe that God would hold it against me if I never went to another service.

For a while, we were looking for the right church to attend. I've always gotten so worn out on churches telling me that I could do this but not that, and that I had to do this over here. BS! My Bible tells me that the only thing that I have to do is accept Christ, which I do. I wanted to find a church that more or less supported that philosophy.

The church where we wound up is just that. The core philosophy of the church is that we are saved from our sins by grace through Christ. Any beliefs beyond that we may debate or differ on. As a result, we do go to church with a whole lot of liberals. But, our church also makes certain to stay out of politics, and it works out pretty well in the end.

Jennifer and I each questioned our religion prior to meeting each other. We each came from Protestant Christian backgrounds, both with some eerie similarities and some startling differences from each other. (She grew up Church of Christ in an old COC family though her dad is a recovering Catholic. I grew up in a kind-of-baptist church but my parents came from old Southern Baptist and Church of Christ backgrounds.) Through our journeys of questioning faith and religion, we wound up in about the same place. I've always wondered how people could be together with radically different religious (or political) views. I know people do it, I just can't understand it. Don't get me wrong, I'd be friends with anybody. But, I couldn't see partnering with someone so different from myself. Odd that...

Mike W. said...

I worship on the altar of the gun! :p

Laura said...

Michael - Thanks for sharing your experience. I'm surrounded by people who are either OMGSUPERCATHOLIC or recovering Catholic (with the occasional Jewish individual tossed in for flavor), and there's rarely a middle ground. Those who have questioned their faith, in my experience, rarely go back. It's kindof nice to see someone who decided to stick with it, just with adaptations to their own lifestyle.

Mike - lol. :P

Evyl Robot Michael said...

I worry about those that never question their faith. It's like a married couple that have never had an argument. How do you know the depth without testing? All that being said, it saddens me when I see the church drive people away from the faith. It happens all the time too.