Reflection on the commandment to honor your parents

Libby Anne over at Love, Joy, Feminism has two new posts up about adult relationships with parents. The first post describes how her relationship with her father evolved (or devolved):

My father simply didn’t know how to let me grow up. He didn’t know how to switch from interacting with me as his golden daughter to interacting with me as an adult making my own way in the world. He couldn’t handle me disagreeing with him, because in his mind that meant he had failed me. Perhaps he was so afraid of seeing me hurt and so sure that his way was the only way for me not to be hurt that he simply couldn’t handle it when I saw things differently. Perhaps he simply wanted to protect me, but in doing so he forgot that he couldn’t protect me forever, and that at some point he had to let go and let me grow up.

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When my faith clashed with my reality (Gay Edition Part II)

I’m sorry this post is rambling and fragmented, but I’m trying to connect the dots in my shift in religious mindset.

Life occasionally brings those Oprah-style “aha moments.” I remember watching an episode of Rules of Engagement with my wife about two years and one child into our marriage. I never found the show that entertaining or funny, but it was one of the few shows at the time that we both liked to watch. Right after the episode was over, my wife initiated sex, something that didn’t happen a ton at the time. After the sex, I recognized a pattern – she initiated sex after every episode we watched as far back as I could recall. The insecure person I was at the time, I just had to know if it was Patrick Warburton or Oliver Hudson who was getting her all hot and bothered – and of course I couldn’t converse with her directly about this. So, the next time we watched the show, I was tuned in to her reactions to the show. But, I noticed something different, she was more focused on the show when Bianca Kajlich’s character was on the screen. I found Kajlich’s character, while attractive, to be the least funny on the show, but I noticed that my wife found all of Kajlich’s character’s jokes to be hilarious. And then, as usual, we had sex after watching the show. Continue reading

The questions that got me thinking (Part II)

Below is the second (slightly edited) email I sent to a few friends about what got me questioning Catholicism and Christianity in general. Like the previous one, my thoughts have developed since this email, but I think it illustrates some of the bigger questions that got me doubting. I hope to flesh out some personal circumstances that influenced my doubts and delve deeper into individual questions in the near future. Continue reading

Questioning: A Brief Intro

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).

My Questions

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.