Childrearing

Anonymous Mom: I’m Raising My Son Catholic But We’re Not Ignorant Bible-Thumpers

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Although church is a big part of my life, not many people outside of my congregation know it. I don’t hide it by any means, but I don’t bring it up out of context. For instance, if someone asks if I’ve tried a restaurant, I might say “Oh, yes, it is right near our church so we went there for brunch one Sunday.” Usually people are a little surprised that I have never mentioned it before – almost like they thought they knew me, but now they aren’t so sure. Sometimes I see relief wash over their face as they have found an ally to admit their own church attendance.

I’m disheartened that in my community, faith has become such a taboo subject. I recently had some college friends in town for a bachelorette party – one atheist, two agnostics. My son was still nursing, so I met them for dinner, but bowed out from the other festivities. They asked me what I had done that morning. I said I went to church. I could see them exchange glances, which I ignored. When I left, the group had already consumed a few drinks. As I walked out, they told me to be safe and “pray for them” (snicker snicker). I chalked it up to the drinks, but I was really disappointed in their reaction.

I have friends who are atheist, agnostic, Jewish and Buddhist. I would never judge any of them for their beliefs, because who am I to say who is right? All I know is, being Catholic is right for me. I hesitated even disclosing that, because I know just putting that in writing is cause for attack by some.

My church is a place of love and acceptance. If it wasn’t, it would not be the place for me. The word “homosexual” has never been uttered in my church. The only time abortion was ever brought up was in reference to praying for the aborted and the women who had to make such a difficult choice, never condemning them in any way. Everyone deserves respect, understanding, love and compassion, and that is the message we are given time and again.

Church is my place of meditation. It is important to find something, whether it is yoga, hypnosis, reiki, prayer, etc., to find an outlet to release stress and frustration.

My individual church (not necessarily the entire Catholic religion) has values that are closely aligned with my own. I look at choosing a church similarly to aligning with a political party – you likely will not agree with 100 percent of what your party backs, but it is what you most closely identify with.

I have no problem with atheists. I know many that are caring friends, wonderful sons, great fathers, superwoman mothers and lovely daughters. However, it bothers me when I see an atheist say how they hate being accused of having no morals or compassion, but in the same sentence accuse everyone who believes in God of being a Bible-thumping Westboro Baptist church follower.

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(photo: Goran Bogicevic / Shutterstock)

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