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It’s Easter and we didn’t do much of anything today. I finished some laundry, napped, finished homework, and we went out for a late breakfast. I had some leftovers for dinner tonight, and Mark will eat later because he’s watching a couple of his students perform in a church play tonight. What a good supportive teacher he is!

So, why am I not at said play? Well, many reasons. I’ve been to this church’s production once before, they are very forceful at this particular church (and I don’t appreciate that), and I’m currently struggling with the whole religion thing right now anyway. Mark is too, but he feels obligated to support his students – understandable. Grab some tea – because I have – this is gonna be a bumpy ride…

Let me see if I can explain what’s going on in my world/head/life right now. I was raised Catholic. I went to Catholic grade school, went to mass frequently at school and all the time on weekends. We were very involved in our parish, the church was very familiar to me and very comfortable. Priests and nuns were at our house during holidays – dinners, weekend things, birthdays, you name it. When it was time to go to high school, I could choose the public high school or go to the Catholic one. I chose the public one because my best friend was going there. I wanted to be with her. In high school I still attended mass and was involved with youth group.

Then college came, I went to a state university, and lived in the dorms. That first weekend, I somehow hooked up with a bunch of Catholic kids and we started waking up – hangovers and all- and going to mass on Sunday mornings together. It actually became like a social event for us. My sophomore year I didn’t go to church unless I was home for the weekend. The group of us that used to go to church together had kind of separated. Some were in one dorm, some in sorority houses, some off campus – it just was inconvenient for us all to hook up. My junior year I started dating this guy that just so happened to be Catholic. So, we went to mass all the time together. We did that my junior and senior years. I took a year off after undergrad and worked. I was still dating that guy, but we stopped going to church for some reason that year.

I then moved out of state to attend graduate school. Wonder of wonders, my neighbors in my little apartment just so happened to be Catholic. So, we would go to the Newman Center on campus together, or we would go to the local Catholic church together.

My second year of grad school I started dating Mark. Let me catch you up on his religious life. He was from a Catholic family that never attended mass – he remembers going once in awhile. However, he did go to a Catholic college and began going to mass regularly – partly because that was the rule. He too took a year off after graduating from undergrad and didn’t go to church then. We were in the same grad program and he did not attend mass with me and my friends. When we started dating he would come to church with me once in awhile, but the rest of the time I went alone or with my neighbors.

When we graduated we moved back to my hometown – from there we got an apartment and began attending mass regularly. We were there for 2 years. We then moved to our current town and started going to mass at the local Catholic church. About a year and a half ago, things changed for us…

I called myself Catholic, I attended mass, and I practiced Catholic principles (for the most part) – here’s the kicker – I believed hardly anything the Catholic church taught. I hadn’t believed in their teachings for years, but I just thought you could kind of pick and choose what you wanted to believe and still be a Catholic. Friends that know us would seem shocked when they found out we were Catholic. They would ask if we believed in the teachings and we said No. Then I started to wonder – how come I’ve been going to mass for all these years and saying I was Catholic and didn’t believe hardly anything in the Catholic religion??? Was I Catholic???

Here’s the deal – We are totally liberal. Stop reading now if you’re gonna think differently of me – I am pro-choice, I am pro gay marriage, I want gun control, I believe in the separation of church and state, I have no problem with birth control – it needs to be more available actually, I have no problem with pre-marital sex, and I also believe in God. But, notice how lots of those things go against the church?? It just finally dawned on us that we really weren’t Catholics – Catholics in the sense of practicing what the church teaches.

So, we started our search for a church nearby that believed what we believed. Let me remind you that we live in a town of 12,000. Now, let me remind you that we also live in the Bible Belt. Guess what? There’s nothing within an hour and a half of us. So, we don’t go to church anymore. We pray before our meals, we pray before bed, we give thanks many times during the day, we read Bible passages before bed, and we truly believe in God. But we don’t believe what most of the churches in the nation teach. It’s times like this I wish we lived in a more populated area so we would have access to like-minded people and be able to worship in a place that believes what we believe.

Mark and I judge no one. We don’t believe in it. We think everyone should have the opportunity for love and happiness – however, I guess we’re in the minority around here. So – that’s why I’m not at the church play tonight. They are a pretty strict church, and I just don’t feel comfortable there.

So, this Easter we didn’t go to a church – we wanted to. We would love to worship with others in a like-minded environment, but that ain’t gonna happen here. So, we stay at home – we worship in our own way – but it’s still a little sad that we have no place to go….

I have kind of felt like blogging about this for a long time because it’s such a major part of our lives right now. We feel kind of lost. I figured Easter was a fine time to write about this. I hope no one is majorly offended or anything, but I think a lot of people can identify with these issues now days, at least I think they can…

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