I know this is cheating, particularly during NaBloPoMo, but I am spent today. I am leaning in to what needs to be done now. Part of that is being offline for most of the day and attending to family and household matters. See you tomorrow for Week Two.
(Originally published in November 2008)
I was raised in Religion X.
My whole family, both sides, belong to Religion X.
It is expected that you marry someone who is also a member of Religion X.
Religion X dictates everything: where to worship, where to send your kids to school, and how you are to conduct your life down to the most intimate details. These intimate details are dictated by old men in robes sequestered in ornate buildings far away from the unwashed masses.
Some in the family go so far as to screen caterers and other service people to make sure they are of the proper religious leaning. I mean, you couldn’t trust someone outside of X to prepare and present your food, right?
Call me a wild child. I don’t even ask my dry cleaner where he worships. I take those kinds of risks with my clothing.
As soon as I was old enough, I jumped the fence and left the flock.
Truthfully, I never really was in the fold. Call me a junior wolf in sheep’s clothing. I went along with the herd. Inside, I was asking questions and doubting what I was hearing. Twenty eight years later, there are those still waiting at the gate to let me back in.
They send out messages periodically, veiled attempts to lure me. There is an Armageddon theme in all these trinkets and baubles.
I say any group that thinks they are the most worthy, that those who aren’t with them are automatically against them and somehow destined for hell, damnation, or at least inferior catering services, is not a group to which I want to belong.
As a child, I wondered about all the people in Religion Y or Religion Z. They seemed fine to me. They didn’t look like doomed people. And what about all those people on the other side of the world who have no religion? Well, I was told, if it seems like life is rough for them, we know why don’t we?
But it just didn’t seem right somehow. How could all those people be wrong? Who decided that our thinking is the only correct interpretation? Maybe we are wrong and they are right. Where would that leave us?
The adults would tell me I should feel bad for the Ys and Zs and the no religions. They said that until they found the way, they would not be saved.
Being the bad girl I was, I rejected this. I went on a quest and visited houses of worship all over the alphabet, even a cultish kind of place. Mostly people were the same. I even learned a lot of people don’t like Religion X.
Lately, I’ve kind of invented (or maybe found) my religion. It suits me fine. I won’t be shoving it down your throat anytime soon. Make that ever.