Ordinary time – not so much

July 18, 2010 at 7:36 PM (Uncategorized) (, , , )

Crossposted @ Street Prophets.

Twenty years ago, I was a reluctant evangelical Baptist, married to a Baptist preacher. (I loved the guy, so I had to be there and actually walk that walk, not fake it, to support his decision and position even though the doctrine made me profoundly uncomfortable…no offense to people who are, I just wasn’t.)

When he passed in ’93, I ditched religion. For a good long while…

I converted to Roman Catholicism in 2009.
I didn’t intend to…it began as a very practical journey…
I’ve lived in the Mountain West for many years, and made very few social connections…I realized I would need some sort of “support system” to stay afloat, so to speak….I wanted an accessible building, didn’t want to necessarily ‘member up’ because at that time I was unsure about God and myself…Were we talking?  Did I have any connection?  I doubted it, and didn’t even really want to pursue it.

But I had real trouble finding an accessible church building with doctrine that I agreed with. So I shrugged and figured accessibility had to trump doctrine in my life now.

I first went to an accessible Charismatic megachurch.
…and was told that obviously my renewed faith couldn’t be as strong as it needed to be or I’d have been healed by now. Needless to say, I fled. Looking back I feel it may have even been rather Dominonist, so, I was pleased to be gone.

There are lovely, lovely downtown churches with good social justice leanings…but no parking…and the ramps are sometimes not enough…or slightly misaligned (one pulled a wheel off my chair….)  Small churches that are actually too minimalist in doctrine for me personally…

In the south suburbs I found a beautiful and wholly accessible Catholic Church sanctuary. (I’m learning about self denial because I sing well, and the choir loft is completely inaccessible).  The sanctuary made me get quiet when I got in…I suffer with anxiety, and it just…began to calm down when I sat in that sanctuary.  I investigated, worked the nine months of learning the Catholic theology…because I like learning, and found three pieces of doctrine that still make me nuts.  But the rest…I began to have a spiritual journey almost in spite of myself. “You’re here to meet and commune with God,” I said to myself, “…not to condemn  the humans in the pews or to blindly commend the priesthood.” And so, I met with God, and mystery…and rediscovered faith…and decided to convert.

In my opinion, I’ve lost nothing of the profound commitment I have to activism, nothing of my left-of-McCain political stance.

What really makes me angry is many friends and family conservatives and liberals alike (!) in my former mainline Protestant traditions…who were appalled at my conversion, (I sincerely did not expect their reaction) began to lecture me on the Church’s many flaws,  as if I was stupid, and not someone with a Master’s degree, holding me personally accountable for every word from the Vatican, every deplorable action ever committed by a priest, and the doctrines that I groove on, as well as the ones that make me nuts.

There’s even been discussion of me  “living a lie.”

I’ve had it. Just had it.  Apparently reconnecting with one’s higher power is now a sin.

Don’t misunderstand.  I completely get opposing viewpoints and people’s reasons for leaving.  I just don’t get why people get all up in my case about my staying.  It makes it difficult, and right now…I’ve got all the difficult I can manage.



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8 Comments

  1. Attila the Mom said,

    You gotta go where your heart leads you and be true to yourself. If you’re finding peace and spiritual wholeness in your new church home, everybody else can go hang. 😉

    • imfunny2 said,

      Thank you…That’s just common sense, isn’t it?

      Send me an email girl…what’s up?

  2. barryb64 said,

    Hi Jean,

    Sound like God is leading you on a journey. When I read of the Dominionist type church, I wanted to whack those guys on the head. I’ve good reasons to do so. I, myself have multiple disabilities. I’ve met their types and they’ve often frustrate me with their logic.

    Years ago, I started learning about Jesus in a Catholic church. Yes, it is possible to learn of God there. Though I had a head knowledge, it wasn’t until ‘9 that I accepted Jesus as Lord & Savior. Here is the shoe drop.

    Thank you God for sending Catholics to help me on my walk of faith~ Thank you for my grandmother who imperfectly showed Christ when I needed it. You see, I am thankful for what was done. I’m glad to see that someone had some sense and build their church to accommodate your physical needs.

    Did you think I was going to bash? NOT! I’ve met some of the individuals you referred to and they did more to push me away from God than draw me in. But God had other plans. 🙂 I’m now going to a moderate sized Vineyard church. Yes, it is Charismatic but I’ve not heard “the secret sin” philosophy; else I’d have trashed the individual.

    I hate that thing!

    Keep pushing towards God, the Father as He does in fact love you and wants to keep hearing from you.

  3. bridgett said,

    Aie. The discussion-ender here (for people who don’t get that private matters of faith are private) is “Thanks for your interest in my spiritual welfare, but faith is a private thing. Now, how about those Mets?”

    • imfunny2 said,

      Not to make a pun, but…Amen sister. Amen.

      • bridgett said,

        I’ve just had to grit my teeth when they get all huffy and say “I’ll pray for you.” in that “…and you’re going to need it, sistah…” tone. I am fine with people praying for me, but offering to pray for me as a club of disapproval is not cool. At that point, though, it’s usually clear that there is no rapproachment to be had and my peace is better served by letting the subject drop.

  4. imfunny2 said,

    I have just shaken my head forever at people who, for example, push at atheists for their nonbelief…for one thing. That’s *theirs* not the person who’s being all Godpolice on them.

    And as for the arguments between one belief system or another…If you’ve got genuine questions and come at it with humility and interest, then yeah, let’s talk.

    But if it even remotely strays into “God told me to tell you,” or anything else that smacks of “My radio for talking to Deity is better than yours. Not only that, Deity has given me the authority to tell everyone else what they risk by not believing what I do, or how they should believe.” I wheel quickly away. and as you do well…Run, don’t walk.

    I also find it interesting that when I was agnostic and more skeptical than now…I got cornered by those people much, much less. Perhaps because they thought I would eventually become another Evangelical notch on their belt that they could “praise” about the following Sunday.

    Dang Pharisees.

  5. bridgett said,

    It’s part of the peculiar burden of being Catholic in a Protestant country. I mean, I know we’re supposed to be all “but the US is non-sectarian…” but that’s bull. When you go to a public event in a small town, it’s always the Protestant guy who blesses the football team or prays for the troops. It’s only when the civic officials are making a big deal out of being “correct” that you also get a priest and maybe a rabbi. An imam? Fuggitaboudit. And the whole concept that you can pray to a non-dogmatically specific Christian god is Protestant in and of itself. Catholics are very dogmatically particular.

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