I was brought up Catholic which explains why I no longer am one. It did more damage to my psyche than I can say, thanks to my mother and the good old Catholic church.
Fear of God is my biggest complaint my mother using him as a weapon. “God will strike you dead if you don’t eat your spinach.”
“God’s disappointed in you Susannah for not cleaning your room.”
“And God says, all little girls should be given to the garbage man who talk back to their mothers.”
She would make me stand in the yard with my little suitcase waiting to be picked up with the trash. As a kid, you can’t imagine how scary that was.
So God became my enemy.
Cut to, 15 therapists, Prozac and two 12 Step programs later, and the God I believe in is Bob Hope in comparison. He’s kind and understanding never turning away because of my many imperfections.
He doesn’t threaten either, but encourages and lends his hand.
Just because I no longer partake in organized religion doesn’t mean I don’t believe in a power greater than myself. Just take a stroll in nature then try to argue there’s not something bigger going on.
I know two people who stood in line waiting hours to see the Pope. Now I have nothing against him and like him, the way I’d like any great MC…but he’s just a front man for a massive organization that in my opinion, can do more for the world.
Catholic charities are up there, but it’s the congregants not the leaders who do the work. Think of St. Teresa of Calcutta ministering to the sick with more criticism from the Vatican than assistance.
Catholics are notoriously noble. I remember when I cooked for a soup kitchen every weekend for twenty man who praised my meatloaf and lasagna (that’s how hungry they were). Not one priest ever came to help or even say hello and always claimed the volunteers were never doing enough.
That was when the glue started loosening on the leaves of my bible.
Some of the meanest people I know are Christians. They gossip, ignore, punish if you’re not one of their ilk. They’d never stop for a person in need because they’re en route to mass and will be late, seeming to miss the point.
I believe in the God of goodness who brings that out in me not needing to kneel, stand or cross myself till my eyes follow suit.
I’ve happily exchanged my hair-shirt for something less scratchy.