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Moving beyond Christianity - Page 2

post #21 of 32
Yammer, those books sound like just what I need to read right now, especially the first one. Fingers crossed that they will have it at the library.

I was raised Catholic. I did not have the kind of traumatic experiences some of you describe, but I was definitely indoctrinated from an early age to the beliefs and teachings of Catholicism. I didn't know any different, though, and our community was fairly homogenous (military overseas) so I did not have much exposure to anything non-Western. Our church was generally a loving, warm community of people, a great many of whom lived their lives in accordance with their beliefs. I admired them for that, and I still hold on to the memories of some of those people when I think of "true believers" -- those who live it. I never felt anything spiritually from the teachings of Catholicism though. I never had a true faith, just a habit. I stopped attending church when I left for college, and have rarely gone back. I don't bear the Catholic church any ill will for myself (OK, I do have a few hangups left but they don't rear their ugly heads much). I do have a bone to pick with them though over some of the damage done to my DH by his Catholic upbringing. He's an atheist now, and doesn't have a shred of doubt about that.

Anyway, I no longer consider myself a Catholic nor a Christian. I still have all the tapes in my head though! But it holds no appeal or draw for me. I've come to my current spiritual beliefs over time, and they don't seem to fit any established religion. I'm inspired by and influenced by many different beliefs, but would probably best be described as an agnostic. Still, I'd like to have something, because I miss the community. I miss the ritual. I've been thinking about trying a UU church to see how that feels.

I am really enjoying this thread, BTW, and I hope it doesn't do a disappearing act.
post #22 of 32
Can O Beans: As long as the thread stays civil, like all other threads, it won't "do a disappearing act".
post #23 of 32
Thread Starter 

personal msg


(I get your name wrong half the time too!) I sent you a PM.

post #24 of 32
My parents were married in the Catholic Church. They were married twelve years and had two children.

When they divorced, my father put a new roof on the rectory. He received an anullment of his marriage so that when he remarried he could do it in the Church.

I always wondered where that left my sister and I in terms of Catholicism. Were we erased?

I tell you, it made more of an impact than 13 years of forced fed Church going and CCD classes ever made.


I avoided organized religion for a long time after that. Wouldn't discuss it, went out of my way to avoid it.

Then I had the great good fortune to run into an Episcopalian priest whom I consider to be extremely open minded. We discussed spirituality and religion and I was surprised at how much alike our thoughts, but not our lexicon, were.

One thing on which we both agreed, zealots and bigots and nuts are not teachers or caregivers. They do not represent anyone but their very own, very human, undivine, bureaucratic agenda.

And so now, when I discuss religion with someone, I am much more likely to try to find the points on which we agree. And my opinion is, all religion is the same. We just call it different things and practice it a little differently.
post #25 of 32
Debra Baker-

I am so much where you seem to be--trying to move beyond the cultural "churchiness" to learn who God really is-without the social conventions and traditions, which came from man, not God. It is so freeing to realize that perhaps I can reach out and take His hand, without somehow molding myself into the white, suburban, "conservative" church lady. I can be me, who He created.

I have a family tradition of church hurts, and am trying to cognitively separate God from those. And I'm interested in reading the Bible word for word, somehow separating the true meaning from the traditions I was raised with. (One interesting point, there really are as many "inclusive" verses in the bible, ones that speak of Gods love and redemptive desire for all creation, as there are "exclusive" ones, that SEEM, on first reading, to exclude others from Gods plan.)

I am working so hard to see God as loving and kind. It is so hard to erase those hurtful tapes...it is a struggle.

Great thread, anyways I feel that in moving beyond Christianity (as it was taught to me) I just may find wholeness, healing, and Christ.

post #26 of 32

It would be appropriate that the woman who'se shareing my initials would be walking a parrellel path.

To be honest I don't feel as though I fit in anywhere (the Mothering boards are a great place, too bad I can't actually hang out with other Mothering friends)

I realized that the "comfort" I felt in the old church was a manifestation of cultism. I was "comfortible" because I had friends and belonged to something larger than myself.

That feeling of comraderie and belonging was ultimately used as a weapon against me because they were able to take that away from me when they ousted me from their midst (remember this was strictly over parenting practices and I was rearing great children...even by their words)

I realized that instead of cultivating a direct relationship with G-d I was lazily depending upon the "wisdom" of these leaders. It was a hard and lonely path to walk but it really helped me in my growth and was the catalist to making me think for myself and not be so dang judgmental of others.

At times I feel like a real hybird Christian-Jewish New Agey leftover person who doesn't fit in anywhere but I'm getting more accepting and comfortible with my self.

Debra (L) Baker (edited to spell DeAnna's name correctly)
post #27 of 32
post #28 of 32
I did not have a religious upbringing. For that I am thankful. My parents didn't want to indoctrinate us, wanted us to explore and find our own paths. I did go through a brief phase at about 10 years old when I went to church on my own (I rode the Joy bus, a bright blue bus that picked me up Sunday mornings). I was concerned that my family was going to burn in hell, and talked my sister into coming with me. For this, I was rewarded by my Sunday school teacher with candy and a new bible with feathery pages. I liked those feathery pages. But, eventually I tired of church and quit going.

So, I do not have childhood hurts related to religion. But, I know many who do. Especially my dear lesbian and gay and transgendered loved ones. I know so many queer folk who have struggled for years to reconcile their religion with their sexuality, who have struggled with shame and guilt and hating themselves and praying to god to make them straight. Ugh. The way the Bible is used to reinforce homophobia and hatred of queer folk drives me nuts, and is one of my biggest beefs with Christianity. And "love the sinner, hate the sin" just doesn't work for me. I absolutely refuse to believe that loving anyone, regardless of gender, is a sin.
post #29 of 32
When cultural appropriation was touched on I was thinking, we may all be a big human family but some of the family members have been taking advantage of all of us. Some religeons do not welcome converts, you have to be born to it to participate. It isn't intended as an insult, or to be exclusionary like a private club, it's just the way it is. Maybe some of the stuff at this link will help explain it. http://www.alphacdc.com/treaty/r-explt.html#top

I am working on this in my own mind too, trying to sort out what is and isn't cool...
post #30 of 32

Every time I hear what happened to you it just breaks my heart, it really does.

post #31 of 32

That site is beyond excellent.

Thank-you for posting the link!

post #32 of 32
Thank you, AutumnMoonfire! That was exactly the link I intended to post but neglected to...appreciate your contribution very much.

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