I rarely discuss religion on my blog. For the simple fact that I hate to talk about the three big no no topics, Money, Religion, and Politics. All things that spark such a huge amount of emotion in people that can and often does lead to drama. Since this is my blog and my place to speak my mind here it is.
Today I am breaking that rule to discuss religion. More specifically my religion. Or lack there of. I was raised Episcopalian, converted to Pentecostal, and now I say I am Non Denominational. Really thought to me non denominational means I follow Christian values and beliefs but I am not really sure which Church matches up with my personal beliefs.
I am torn. I have been for quite a few years now. This thought process only got harder upon marrying Hunter. He is a Catholic. As you all know Catholicism comes this its own set of rules and customs. It's a far more intense version of the Episcopal Church that I know. Similar "Catholic Exercise"... Stand up, kneel, Sit, Stand up, sit... you get the picture. They have a similar line of beliefs and customs. Only remove confession, allow priest to marry, allow parishioners to get divorced, re work the hierarchy within the church a bit and you have a simple version of the Episcopal Church. Ok maybe there are several more things that make it nothing like the Catholic Church. You can read about that by clicking the link above, but you get my point. I left not because I had any problem with the church or it's views. My family simply started going to another church to which I didn't have much of a choice in the matter since I was still in high school.
My beliefs for years have fallen in line with the Episcopalian Church. Then (No I am not going to get into much details about it) I converted to Pentecostal. I whole heartedly embraced it. You know after the whole I don't wanna be here thing got old for even me. Anything that could straighten up my family was worth looking into. Then after several years the rose colored glasses came off. The faults in the way the church was run became more and more apparent. It wasn't the religion itself that I had an issue with per-say. More in the workings of the people who ran the church. It still turned me off to the religion. I know fully well that other church's may or may not be like the pentecostal one I attended but to be honest I really didn't have much of a drive to even try a new one so I just abstained from going to any church at all.
Then Hunter came along. He doesn't believe, to my knowledge, in everything about that the Catholic Church practices but enough to stick with it come hell or high water. A true Catholic born and raised. We were married in the Catholic Church. I didn't have a strong enough conviction about religion and Hunter did so I agreed with what he wanted. I did however not want a full mass with the wedding. So we had to attend church the following day. I believe this was more for is parents than it really was for him.
So here we are. A Catholic and an I don't know what happily married and talking about children. I want our children to be raised with some type of religious up bringing. I really feel that they need that foundation through at least high school. Then they can do whatever it is that they would like and I will love them just the same. I have agreed with Hunter that we will raise our children in the Catholic religion but be exposed to my religion as well. The thing is how am I supposed to show our children my religion when I am not even sure what it is.
I mean I think the Catholic Church is ok I don't believe in praying rote prayers for everything. Nor do I really believe in confession. I do however like the fact that is maintains its values and standards even if it does seem to be to a fault at times.
Don't get me wrong I am an equal opportunity discriminator. The pentecostal church can often be tight knit and tough on outsiders. It does really turn people away when its members have that superior attitude. Or the preacher is ranting about fire and brimstone all the time.
I can go on and on about all the religions I have mentioned in this post but I will spare you all of my mass amount of thoughts individually on them.
What it comes down to is that I feel like I need to chose and establish myself in a religion before having children. The obvious choice is to turn to Catholicism because thats what Hunter firmly believes and I have agreed to bring our children up in. Them making all the sacraments, attending CCD and such. I don't want to seem like I am against what they will be doing even if don't totally agree with the Catholic practices.
After all I want to be a united front.... wait that sounded far to military for my liking... um.... united household. Much better. I mean I know in the bible it say a house divided shall not stand. Please don't ask me for chapter and verse as I simple don't know it or feel like looking up at this late hour. Clearly that is what I want. Hunter will never change religions nor would I ask him to but he is willing to occasionally attend services at whichever church I chose to follow. Granted, I think anything other than Episcopalian would seem extreme to him.
So to convert or not to convert that is the question.
It is not a simple process to convert as you expect. The Catholic's don't want just anyone to join them. You really have to want it. Sort of like Judaism. There are classes to take, books to read, prayers to learn. Thankfully my sister in law is coming into town in a few weeks and she can give me more insight as to why she converted to Catholicism.
My reasons for converting are simple. I would be to create that united household. That makes it easier in raising out children and far less confusing. I clearly don't want our kids wondering why mommy and daddy are going to different churches. Realistically that won't work for very long.
I also would like to get back into church. I think my butt needs to be in a seat somewhere on sunday mornings... or saturday night. It can only help me grow as a person for the better. Food for my brain or heart isn't a bad thing. I wonder that since I am not Catholic am I keeping Hunter from going every week when he knows I don't feel totally comfortable going. Certainly I don't want to hinder him from anything.
This clealry isn't a decision I will be making this coming Sunday. When I make a decision I want it to be the right one for me and our family. For now I guess I will start with a bible study, She Reads Truth. You have to start somewhere and this seems like a good place to me.