Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Squishing the grape...it's jelly time....

For the past year, sine I've been my parents 'beck and call' girl, I've been taking them to church every Sunday. At first,it was rather uncomfortable for me to sit there and listen to everything being said. Everyone seemed closed minded and set in there ways. Of course the majority of this church are elderly people, who are set in their ways and views in every aspect of their lives.

But, the more often I went, the more comfortable I became and often I looked forward to it. That part amazed me because I've never been gung-ho on organized religion. I was raised in this very church and enjoyed it as a teen. We did fun stuff and we had a lot of teen groups and activities. But, the older I got the less I wanted to go. Part of that was because I didn't want to get up in the mornings...duh! Part of it was because I started noticing how narrow minded the congregation was.

When our kids were little, every time we moved to a new military base, I would find a church for us to go to. I thought it was important for the kids to be exposed to religion and to be able to one day make up their minds as to what they would believe. After all I thought, I was raised in the Methodist church and I turned out ok. Lovee's grandfather was a Baptist preacher and his Mom was quite knowledgeable in the field of religion....but he didn't like to go....he didn't like the message of burning in hell and being told what to think.

So, back to my original thought...........

A few months ago, I was singing and enjoying the sermon in church one day and thought ...hummmmm, I really enjoy coming here...I love Pastor Sharon....she's vibrant and always upbeat and is so full of love for everyone and truly seems to care for the entire congregation. Maybe I should join and show my support and get involved with some of the church's mission works. I LOVE helping people and doing for people. I love talking to all the people, some I've known my entire life....Yea, that's the ticket... I thought.

Then the UMC had it's conference. And in this conference they set policy and doctrine. I think deep down I knew what was coming and probably knew it was already in place but chose to ignore it. Basically this is part of what was decided.

"Since the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching, self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be accepted as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in The United Methodist Church."

Well, let me tell you....my heart sunk. I had always believed the Methodist church was rather liberal in it's thinking; more so than other denominations.
The wind was knocked out of my sails and my thoughts of joining were put to pasture.
I can't join something when one of their core beliefs goes against something I believe.
I refuse to believe someones sexual orientation should keep them from doing something what they want. Period. Do heterosexuals have a choice in being attracted to the opposite sex? Hell no!!! Do Gays and Lesbians have a choice in being attracted to the same sex? hell no! What's the problem? There isn't one as far as I can see.

I came to realize that I was in the mist of some really nice people who I liked sharing time with but have a completely different set of core values than I do. I can't 'join' them. If I did, it would be like saying I agree with what their doctrine says. And I don't. I know too many people who are Gay or Lesbians.....friends, relatives.....they're just people. It's only love....what's the big stink!

So, there. It's out of my grape now and hopefully it'll quit looping....I have to squish my grape from time to time or else I 'loop' like Dad does. ( and that drives me ape-shit-crazy)

So, I'm not enjoying my time at church as much anymore. And that's ok. It's just another part of my 'job'. I am a spritual person and I do believe in God....but I view the bible as a guide rather than an absolute. I will just try to be the best person I can and that....I will be very content with.

On a lighter note.......I wore capri's this past Sunday and got quite a bit of self satisfaction whenever I saw people looking at the tattoo on my ankle and rolling their eyes. Only one person actually said something. An older guy...90 yrs old or so said..." I've only got one question...how drunk were you when you got that tattoo?" I said " Cold stone sober....it was my birthday present to myself when I turned 50...and when I figure out where to put it I'm going to get a pink flamingo tattoo too." His reply....." Good for you". ( I give him a big ol kiss every time I see him!) ;)

I hope I didn't offend. Just had to get it out there. Had to make some jelly.


CheekyMonkey said...

Right there witcha babe.

ETK said...

:) I'm glad you got it out there. I was just about to post something about being brainwashed. :D HAHAHAHA

I'm so shocked that anyone (or thing - like an organization) just make a statement like that. It makes MY grape squish.

Diane J Standiford said...

Being a baptised Methodist, I find some churchs stick to their doctrine more so than others, which I find funny. I am very spiritual. Enjoy the occasional church visit(Methodist, Lutheran, Quaker, whatever,) but not ever to be a ritual for this woman who will spend her life loving another woman. My spirituality is within me an all around me; I don't need a church or sermon. You are a good daughter. That is enough. PS--God made capri pants.

meno said...

If you offended anyone, they needed it.

Right on!

Anonymous said...

Damn. Goes to show I ought to do my research. I always thought I leaned more towards Methodist than any other denomination but that pretty much nixes it for me. I'm with you on everything you said.

I can't stand how church is filled with narrow minded hypocrites. Turns me off and makes me tune out and want to RUN!

I think I'm more like you - spiritual. I believe in God w/o question but I don't believe that *what* I believe is the only way to believe.

Good job squishing. I can relate to the "loop" of which you speak. I do it so much. I need a squisher I think. LOL

Brad said...

You sound like a very intelligent woman to me, but I might be biased. Great post.

Acrimony said...

Try the Evangelical Lutherans, I'm pretty sure ELCA pastors are actually performing gay marriage ceremonies.

Dianne said...

I love when you make jelly - it's always delicious.

I'll never forget some of my most negative experiences with organized religion. My Mom's funeral was the same day as the anniversary of Roe v. Wade and the priest tried to turn her ceremony into a speech. I stopped him and didn't give a damn what the church members thought.

At my sister's wake we (really me - I'm the family mouth) asked the priest to leave because he started lecturing about the sin of suicide. My sister had killed herself and I wasn't going to put up with that crap. We cancelled her funeral mass. We already had to change where she was going to be buried since the Catholic cemetary wouldn't bury suicides. I'm told that has changed but I have nothing to do with organized religion so I don't know and I don't care. They lost me a long, long time ago.

Allison Horner said...

Yes, great jelly!

It truly is unfortunate how closed minded some Christian churches are.


Probably why I strayed away form going to church, too. I deeply believe in God and the holy trinity, but I don't necessarily agree with all of Man's interpretations....

Be a good person. Love one another. Do the best you can. I think that's the most important message. I don't understand why people get obsessed about all the little nitty-gritty details that end up shutting others out....and eventually push people away.

Man, I hope that didn' sound too hippy-ish.


tt said...

CM- I knew you would be:)

etk-Going to church these days is all about shock I think. No brainwashing here babe ;)

DJS- I was babpised into it too..and have seen the differences in various states we lived in. You made me chuckle about the pants...I think you may be right.

tt said...

meno- I think so too :) thanks

ff-It's crazy how my grape keeps looping untill I talk about whatever is on it...silly. I did a bit of research...Unitarian Universalist are looking good...but I'm not sure if I'll go after my folks pass.

Brad- as you said...we're probably genetically related... so maybe that's where my intellegence comes from.... :) thanks bro!

tt said...

tali- Lutherans??? really??? they always scared me..don't know why but they did. ha ha...Not sure I'll ever go anywhere after this gig is done. We'll see.

Deanne- OMG!! See...that's one of the greatest problems w/ organized religion...do they just not 'get it'??? WTF! I'm so proud of you for speaking up. Of course from what I've learned from you I'd expect nothing less. :) You're the family mouth?...what an honor!! Seriously.
I'm sorry to hear of your sister's death. It's hard to lose a sibling...no matter the circumstances.xo

Alli- That's [art opf the problem with churches...interpretation! It's all different.
You didn't sound hippy-ish to me....you sounded perfectly normal and practical. xo

Jay said...

My dad was a lay minister in the Methodist Church so I grew up in that church too. Ever since I was a little kid the Methodist Church preached a lot about inclusion and public service. I find the exclusion of gays in that statement to be 100% in contradiction to what the Methodist Church has always been about to me. And I find it very upsetting.

tt said...

Jay-- Exactly!! I understnad that at one time this church had a 'lesbian' minister and the congregation all but ran her out. I was told she "kept recruiting gays"..........can you imagine? I said 'was she 'recruiting' gays or was she simply trying to get more people into the church, no matter who they were, because God doesn't know color or race or anything"....answer " no, no...she was bring them here on purpose".
I gave up.

Sunshine said...

That saddens me about the grandparent's church, but I'm not surprised. The only church I know of that welcomes gays is the Unitarian church. I'm actually thinking about seeing if Punky will go with me.

Did I ever tell you the reason why I hated going to church so much when I got older? Sunday school was the worst part when I was out of Elem. school... they would make fun of me for not knowing things when they talked about the Bible. Kids AND the teachers at a couple different churches made me feel down right stupid for not knowing what they knew. Ever since then, the walls went up. Not sure if they will ever come down... it's sad really.

tt said...

I'm sorry sunshine. I should have done something about that...we were always surrounded by stupidheads at one time or another weren't we?!

Queers United said...

i have also become disillusioned with religion because of its views on gays, women, etc. i am still very spiritual though.

tt said...

QU- Keep fighting...that's all anyone can do...right?

Fortune Cookies said...

I rejected organized religion a long time ago too, but a friend of mine (who also is a lesbian) attends a church called Unity Center for Positive Living, they have gay and lesbian ministers, and don't just tolerate homosexuals in their congregations, but teach that it's a complete non issue. Maybe they have a local chapter near you...

tt said...

fortune cookies- Hey there! ' a non issue'...that's exactly what it should be. Like Jay said, churches should INclude people not EXclude people. As I said to someone earlier, I doubt if I get involved in another church ...I'm secure in my faith as I have it now..It's just another way to bash...and I'm just really saddened by it.

Jen said...

I grew up Catholic-Lite (aka: Episcopalian). It was fantastic b/c they were always inclusive and tolerant of others! I loved going to church and participating in youth groups.

Only recently have they the same message that you received from your church - "no gays, no way". I was so deeply saddened. My mother almost left the church we grew up in over this whole issue. When she tried to point out to others that the Bible should be a guide, it IS over 2000 years old, they basically spit fire in her face. She couldn't believe the hatred out there & for what reason? B/c someone LOVES someone else?


I think Jesus would be very sad hearted to see what we've become.

tt said...

jen: I agree. It is sad to see what some churches have evolved into.

Acrimony said...

tt where arrrrre you. I don't see any new posts from you. Come out come out where ever you are!