Something you are never supposed to discuss at a dinner party

I told a friend I planned to blog about religion today. Her reaction: “That’s a sticky wicket.” Indeed.

My parents were devout Roman Catholics. We had church every Sunday and Catholic school from Kindergarten through twelfth grade.

To give credit where it’s due, I think the Church helped me learn compassion and empathy and gave me a strong foundation for telling right from wrong. I know people whose faith gives them peace and even joy. But these days, I don’t consider myself a Catholic. I no longer believe in much of what I was taught.

This is hard for me to admit. I worry that some family members and friends may be troubled or even insulted by my admission.

In no particular order, here is a sample of what I do believe: I believe there is something bigger than ourselves, but I don’t hold fast to many specifics about what that is. I don’t believe that a white beard or anything else gender-specific is involved. I believe in the soul,
although I would be hard-pressed to define it well. I believe (or maybe just hope) we continue on to something after we die, but I don’t have a handle on what that something might be. I believe “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is brilliant, and I wish I could say I followed this rule all the time. I believe the best argument for goodness is its impact on those who practice it and those who receive it, rather than a reward in the afterlife.

So why am I blogging about this? I guess it’s because I seldom admit my beliefs to anyone, for fear of being judged. I don’t want to challenge or change anyone’s faith, but I don’t think respecting someone else’s beliefs requires hiding my own.

Kind of heavy for a Monday, right?

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5 Responses to Something you are never supposed to discuss at a dinner party

  1. Muff says:

    Don’t worry about the dinner party conversation – self-admittedly, you aren’t adept at throwing them anyway. Leave the dinner party and RC Church paradigms to your mom, who, apparently, is great at both.

    To me, beliefs and values are personal and cannot possibly be “shared”. I like your philosophy…at least you have THOUGHT about it! Even if you are going to damn your soul for eternity for turning your back on the Pope. Just sayin’!

    By the way, love the blog. Really good!! You should be a writer or somethin’!

  2. Patty Volpacchio says:

    Come with me to a summer mass at the Unitarian. They are lovely and will fill your heart. Very different from the guilt infused, confusing lectures we were subjected to as children. xo

  3. Jayne Long says:

    Out of all your blogs (I have been playing catch up today), this is the one that I loved the most. It may be because it mirrors my own thinking so perfectly. Thanks for sharing and don’t worry, I will still be your friend!

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