I’ve started this blog as an exercise in getting my thoughts out. Right now it’s just a monologue – I’m writing this stuff so I can start verbalizing what’s been rattling around in my head for the last two or three years. Maybe at some point I’ll share this blog, but for right now I’m just talking to myself (and any random stranger who happens upon this).
Is there a god/goddess/gods/goddesses? Can we know? How much can we know about him/her/it/them? Is Jesus of Nazareth God? If not, should all of Christianity be discounted? If yes or no, how can/should the (supposed) words of Jesus of Nazareth impact our lives? Etc, etc.
How I Got Here (basic facts about me here)
I grew up religious. Although my dad was always kind of agnostic/nominally Christian, my mom was fervently Evangelical. I attended an Evangelical-leaning Christian school through my freshman year of high school. I always questioned some of the seemingly arbitrary and non-reasoned aspects of Evangelicalism. But, I never questioned the basic tenets of Christianity and had fear of hell and rapture instilled in me enough to be afraid of losing an emotional connection to an idea of Jesus.
I had my first discovery of Catholicism when we were assigned a paper about “Why the Catholic Church Isn’t Christian” for my 7th Grade World Geography class. But, the paper had the opposite of the intended effect – I became enamored by the rich tradition of the Catholic Church. This attraction never waned, and I converted to Catholicism not long after going to college.
Before I was officially received into the Catholic Church, I became very zealous about Catholicism and got involved in Traditionalist Catholicism – I was a proponent of the “Tridentine Mass” and opposed a lot of the changes that occurred after the Second Vatican Council. I had, what I like to call, “nostalgia without memory.” The city in which I was attending college didn’t have a Tridentine Mass, so in order to avoid a post-Vatican II Roman Catholic church, I was formally received into an Eastern Catholic Church (which, ultimately had a profound impact on my rejection of Traditionalism and conservative Christianity in general – something I hope to explore later on).
Like I said, upon entering Catholicism, I was very zealous. I managed to convert my then-girlfriend (now wife). All non-Catholics (and most Catholics) were heretics or infidels to me. I was a fundamentalist, if I’m being honest. I got married right after college and had a kid 9 months later. We were attending a Tridentine Mass, and our child was baptized in Latin 5 days after he was born. We dressed modestly and practiced Traditionalism fairly well. But, with “convertitis” comes burnout. A five-year shelf life seems to be an accurate estimate.
A number of factors blew up my faith. My best friend is gay. Come to find out, my wife is queer too (something she repressed until 4 years into our marriage). I had a difficult employment situation during the recession and I felt a lot of veiled shame from my co-religionists for essentially being a “taker.” We had a baby at a very inconvenient time – while I love my child, the timing could have been improved with contraception use (a no-no for practicing Catholics). And many other things, but in short, reality didn’t line up with the perfectly constructed paradigm of conservative Christianity.
And, that’s where I stand. Unsure of where to go now that I’ve let two to three years of reality set in.