There I was walking to the post office in the pouring rain wearing my trusty Hunters when I suddenly felt a surge of water seeping through my sock. Somewhere between home and 83rd and Lex the sole of my left boot came off.
Like the little soldier I am I stayed my course before rushing to Orva on 86th Street to buy a new pair.
I had to laugh when the salesman said, “Lady, how long have you had these, 30 years?” (it was actually 10).
I realized it really symbolized how I’ve been feeling about religion lately. I hinted at this in yesterday’s Post but feel the need to elaborate more.
For starters, I’m what the Pope would call a ‘Lost Soul.’
Let me first begin with, I’m not a big fan of Pope Benedict XVI since to me he’s not very Pope like. I loved Pope John Paul who truly seemed like a Holy Man. Pope Benedict looks more like a bookie on route to a costume party.
“That’s blasphemy Susannah.”
“Oh it is not. Since when is merely stating a man could use a few fashion tips blasphemy? What bible is that in?”
I’m just uninspired by his presence that’s all, though I was madly in love with his predecessor. The day Pope John Paul went to visit the man who shot him in jail he became my Elvis.
I remember how he always said, “Don’t be Afraid.” Now that’s what I call inspirational so Tweet that Pope Benny.
I’m also not thrilled with all the Catholic cover-ups and personally feel priests, who are just men who’ve made certain quirky career choices, should be allowed to marry. This celibacy thing has backfired big time. Sorry, but it’s really what I think, and all the kids who had to suffer for needs that should have been legitimately met would never have had to be silent victims if The Vatican would just come off its arrogant, antiquated ass and come down to earth. Catholic clergy are the only sect not allowed to have partners.
I was raised Roman Catholic with a gun to my head. I was told from day one how awful I was over a variety of things. I was going to hell if I didn’t eat my spinach, floss or remember to clean under the bed. No wonder I had self-esteem issues. When you’re told day in and day out that God is mad and will burn you in hell for your vegetable mishaps how could you ever think anyone else will like and approve of you? It’s truly criminal. Too bad it took me over 50 years to realize it. I would have many more dates and much less indigestion.
I also came to the happy, healthy conclusion that my relationship is with God not a church. When I figured that out my life became a whole lot rosier. I stopped punishing myself and others for not being perfect. I claimed the right to be a very, nice girl who cared about other people without excluding herself. One could say I finally traded in that hair-shirt for a hoodie.
I grew tired of the constant, ‘but that’s not enough’ dogma that was ingrained in me wrapped around the cheery thought of original sin. How can a baby be a sinner?
You poop once out of the box and that’s it, you’re fucked forever? Come on, now that should be considered blasphemy.
I remember cooking at a homeless shelter my former church ran on the weekends. I’d feed 25 men spaghetti or meat loaf anytime I was asked. Because I lived so near I was there practically every weekend. The big question was always, “why can’t you sleep here too?” They needed 2 people to volunteer to stay with the men and frankly, I wasn’t comfortable doing this. Rather than feeling good over what I did do, I was repeatedly made to feel bad over what I didn’t do. I used to go home and cry thinking how disappointing I must be to God.
Spare me. Now I could just burn down their parish house for the way they treated me.
What do I do now, faith wise?
What I’ve always done – pray, count my blessings, do nice things for people. I go to different services at various churches and most of them aren’t Catholic. I’ve even gone to Temple a few times to visit God there. I think we all pray to the same one, just on alternate days in different locations, like parking.
Did I mention I fasted on Yom Kippur? Yes I did, to see what it was like. I felt incredibly bonded with all of my Jewish friends especially one in particular.
I don’t think God is disappointed in me anymore.