Peddle Your Fear & Guilt Elsewhere

eastercat

We went to church yesterday. We didn’t go to Sunday School. We just went to the morning service. Of course, the service entailed the story of Christ’s resurrection, replete with a slide show, music, and a sermon wherein we were specifically told that since we are not living in the light of Christ our Savior, we are in Satan’s grips, doomed to death and darkness.

I wore black. MIL still kissed me and said I looked pretty.

I wore black. MIL still kissed me and said I looked pretty.

I was prepared for that. To make it more painful and time-consuming, it was also time for Communion. In a Protestant church, communion allows the pastor to see how many people have not accepted Jesus Christ into their hearts. He then can use this information to call upon the Holy Spirit to move people to come to Jesus. It’s a marketing tactic, of sorts. This was all after hoping we’d empty our wallets for the missionaries. Literally, he said that as Jesus’s grave was empty, so should be our wallets. While I normally give offering at church, the pastor’s sense of humor made me feel bitchy and greedy.

tithingkitteh

I’m not a fan of missionaries. It’s like the Peace Corps, but with a Jesus Clause. The basic improvements are noble and humanitarian..well, I’m not sure why it is that people in other lands have it so wrong, or why they need to love Jesus in order to appreciate education or clean water.  Also, read The Poisonwood Bible and get back to me.

discipling
My in-laws are very churchy. Church is twice on Sunday, Wednesday nights, plus the odd activity here and there.
As previously mentioned, we are not churchy. We prefer to live a largely secular life. The Mister is a Christian, by way of faith, or mostly, or somethin — I’ve never really clarified his beliefs…but we’re both anti-organized religion, as we are not fans of persecution and war. We talk about God in our home, but not in a way that involves fear, sin, or Hell.

supernova

Having grown up without indoctrination to religion, our children are inherently suspicious of scripture and matters of the proclamation of faith. We don’t speak of Jesus unless we’re prompted by the childrens’ questions. We’ve long assumed it’s easier to leave the Jesus space empty, in case they want to fill it in later, instead of them trying to remove the Jesus ideology when they’re adults.

On the way home, Sassy informed us that she was tormented at Children’s Church, where they told the story of the crucifixion. She said, “I was picturing a lot of blood. Like a lot, a lot, a lot!” I told her the gorier it is, the worse you feel for the man who died for your sins, the more likely you are to be motivated by guilt to become a Christian.

friday

Since Moo’s last interface with the Bible had her reading and cackling, asking me, “Who wrote this?!?” while checking the cover for the author, I’ve advised the children just to nod and smile along whenever anyone says anything particularly unreasonable.

Sassy’s experience reminded me of Easter three years ago, when her daddy was deployed, and my cousin and her boys were coming to visit. It began at the commissary, “Why you buy so big ham?” she asked. I told her “Because it’s what people eat at Easter and it’s on sale.” She wanted to know would the Easter Bunny come and would we also have hot cross buns? I said I probably wouldn’t be up to dealing with dough enough to make hot cross buns, and that no, the Easter Bunny has never been to our house, (although I do assemble and hide a basket) and then I told her what the celebration of Easter was about.

my hot cross buns -- also pagan in origin...

my hot cross buns — pagan in origin…

Me: The Christians celebrate Easter because Christ came back to life.  See, on Friday, people hung Him on the cross, and then on Sunday, He came back to life.  Sunday is Easter.  It’s to celebrate Jesus.
Sassy: @_@  What do you mean He came back to life?!
Me: They said it was a miracle because they believe He’s God’s son.
Sassy:  Well, he is God’s son, but I dunno about all that.  I think no matter whose kid you are, when you’re dead, you don’t come back.
Me: Okay, well you can believe what you want, that’s called faith.  Your faith doesn’t hafta be like other peoples’.
Sassy: *raises eyebrow* Do I know anyone who thinks Jesus came back to life???
Me:  Most everyone you know believes this.
Sassy: @_@ like who???
Me: Mamaw, Papaw…all the Christians.
Sassy: Do YOU believe that???
Me: No.
Sassy: Does daddy believe Jesus undied? Sissy, Bubba?
Me:  I dunno about Daddy. I’m not sure about Sissy, either, but Bubba thinks not.
Sassy: Huh….is there a story about it? I think I need more information.

SHE IS SO MY KID THIS WAY.

I read Sassy the story of Easter from the Children’s Bible. We own seven Bibles. I dunno.

Sassy: That was a nice story. *flaps hands*
Me: Yes, I think so, too.
Sassy: Mama?
Me: Yes?
Sassy: There was no ham, no bunny, and no eggs.
So I told her about Spring’s young animals, Ostara and the concept of rebirth.  She thought that was a nice story, too.

birds8

The other day, JLW posted a blog inquiring as to why non-Christians celebrate Easter. Personally, I thought she was too intelligent to ask this question and then I remembered that she is blonde, and may have been under heavy duress, what with all the odd sock matching that lay before her… *winks* The question is not why non-Christians celebrate “Easter,” *achem* but rather, why do Christians keep so many ancient, pre-Christian, Old God traditions from around the world alive? Also, why are so many of them unaware of the origins? Don’t ask them, they get very upset and yell at you for “challenging their faith.” Or maybe they only do that to me, because I’m all irreverent, argumentative, secular, and shit. 

I do sometimes just smile and nod along. I have plenty of Christian friends. I assume they tolerate me and secretly pray for me to find Jesus. (Which I did, just the other day, at the new age shoppe..)

adorable, non?

adorable, non?

Everyone’s certain that THEIR religion is the best religion, except the atheists, who are sure all the people of any faith are the cray-cray.  But I’m just sayin, there’s somethin not-quite-right here.. often, alawt.

poseidongod
(Also, I can’t figure out why in the name of tacos so many Christian bloggers are following me. Was I unclear?)

About joey

Neurotic Bitch, Mother, Wife, Writer, Word Whore, Foodie and General Go-To-Girl
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17 Responses to Peddle Your Fear & Guilt Elsewhere

  1. Awesome. *applauds*

    We have a pretty non-faith household in that, my MIL likes to push hers onto the kids (and us)and we just kind of bandy it around like hot potato. I always start out with “well some people believe” and leave it at that. “What do you believe, mama?” Usually is answered with “Whatever’s good is fine with me.” Ain’t none of my business, really. I have quite few beliefs but that’s neither here nor there. They’re 9 and 5. I’m not sure they’d get it if I went off on a tangent anyway.
    So, this year, out of the blue, the girls wanted to go to Church for Easter. Okay fine. My palms sweated and I got nauseous. But I sucked it up.
    We went to the UU church fairly close by. And the hypocrisy wasn’t palpable. No one grinned and shook hands and pretended they wouldn’t be at Hooters after the service. If they were, they’d say it right to your face. “Dude, I’m totes going to Hooters after this. Wanna?”
    My view of the world was valid. My kids could learn about other people’s views. And it’s all cool.
    And they did a great (non gory) retelling of the Jesus story in a way I could swallow.
    The kids loved it.
    I felt like I found a good pair of jeans I thought I’d lost.

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  2. I grew up in a church much like the one you described. And we always knew when there was a budget shortfall because the sermons would be geared toward tithing. I left the church for a really long time because of it. I have a better church now where we feel a lot of love and a sense of family.

    The Poisonwood Bible is the best book I have ever read. I think missions are of critical importance because people ARE in need, but Kingsolver points out beautifully the folly in going out into the mission field with one poorly thought-out goal in mind.

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  3. Tom Packard says:

    Just read you blog…dam I really liked it

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  4. baldjake70 says:

    That was an awesome read Baby. I enjoyed it so very much, thank you!

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  5. Yay I found the comment button. (You know I am slow.) Keep up the good work.

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  6. wilsonkhoo says:

    Church in the morning, Game of Thrones at night. Perfect living.

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  7. Masala Chica says:

    “so, I can’t figure out why in the name of tacos so many Christian bloggers are following me”

    Joey. In the name of tacos?
    Ha. You kill me.
    This was pretty awesome.

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  8. meg68 says:

    You sum things up so perfectly Joey, the above mentioned fire and brimstone sermons are the exact reason why I left “the church”. My beliefs are my own, I believe in being a “good person”, I don’t shove my beliefs down anyone’s throat, especially my children.
    Imagine if the Vatican had a garage sale? Imagine they used the profits to feed the starving and solve third world issues? Now that would be a belief system worth following….. don’tcha think?

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    • OMG, yes, Meg. Absolutely. I sat next to a man tonight who told me he’s switched churches to watch his grandson in the band. He said it’s more of an outreach than a church, and while he misses people at his old church, it feels so good to directly help people less fortunate. He said it makes him feel closer to God. Just listening to him made me feel closer to God.

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