I met an old friend of mine from high school for breakfast the other day. She is one of the most genuinely nice people I have ever met. She was raised catholic, and sent her kids to catholic school, but the one that started high school wanted to go to public school. She LOVES it there. She likes being friends with whomever she chooses, instead of everyone knowing EVERYTHING about EVERYONE ELSE. It seems like the catholic school system is almost incestuous, in the way that all the families have been together forever, everyone knows everyone else, etc. Sorry, got off topic.
Anyway... She asked me if I was an Atheist (from my Facebook posts) and I told her yes. She looked a little shocked, but asked me about it. I told her I could never believe in any 'god' that treated his "children" the way the one she believes in supposedly does. That's about as deep as I went. She thought about it, and said she could see that. She didn't judge me, just asked. I don't think she thought about that one thing before. Then she was talking about her Mother-in-law being prejudice against her because she is Sicilian. I thought that was weird of her MIL! So I said my relatives were/are jewish, and jews have been persecuted for a few thousand years. She didn't know why. I explained even the supposed jesus was jewish. She did know that, but didn't know that christianity came about by people taking the jewish religion, and adding on to it (I didn't go into that the jews took stuff from other religions.)
She said, "Wow! You know a lot more about the bible and religion than I do!" Blind acceptance. I guess because I was never told what to believe, I don't understand it?! How can people not have questions come to mind?
That's great you're doing that for your grandkids KH! My Sister isn't as bad as her husband. She's as least decided that the bible is not written by 'god', and she doesn't believe jesus is the savior! She's just still holding on to the god-thing. And they watch FAUX News. Ugh.
I like your thoughts on death Steve. We can be proud of the fact that we have gone further in dealing with death than most people ever will.
Maybe you've planted a tiny curiosity seed to generate a little research..........
I don't think she's the type to do research Patricia. But maybe she'll think about it. Maybe.
Welcome to what happens when you're taught not to question, but spoon-fed dogma by people who want you to know only what THEY want you to know, and not much more than that.
Is your friend young enough to remember before Vatican II, when part of that dogma was the blaming of the Jews for killing Jesus? Or has catholic education whitewashed that as well?
Loren, my friend and I are both 46. Oddly enough, we met in public school! She was not sent to catholic schools. They can't afford to send their daughters to one either. She told me all about their horrible financial situation.
Mindy, you responded in a gentle and caring manner. No one could ask for more. Your friend is lucky to have you.
Thank you Daniel. You're the best.
Mindy, I wonder, too, while people don't ask questions about their beliefs. Perhaps I do know and am just ashamed that it took me so long to begin to put two and two together and see the harm that obedience and submission caused. Yes, guilt and shame exist in me, even as I now realize how important it is to think things through; especially when harm occurs in individuals, families and social systems.
I like the milestone celebrations: birthdays, weddings, babies, and now reaching levels of health. Our family gatherings offer so much more satisfaction because we have all learned the art and craft of communicating. There is nothing about religion in building these skills. In fact, the old rules of "children shall be seen ...," and "obey authority figures ... and such things as that. Respect for each person, young and old, able and disabled, intelligently bright and dull, physically active and passive and facing illness or regaining health. Each one has a place at our table and feels welcomed warmly.
I agree with Sentient, your friend is lucky to have you for a friend and one so willing to engage in questions. I like your answers.
Thanks Joan. You have no reason to be ashamed. You are awesome. :)
BL you did good. She's lucky to have you as a friend.
Thanks John. You're so nice!