I got an email a few days ago from a gentleman representing a group of Christian bloggers. He had read my blog and somehow came to the conclusion that he would invite me to join his set. Of course, I was thankful for the invitation, but also curious as to what exactly he had read that made him think I was "Christian" in the "everyone must accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour" kind of way. I mean no offense, but when I think of a Christian, I think of that movie "Saved!", in which Hilary Faye, the ultra-Christian girl, hurls a Bible at a perceived heretic's back and shouts "I am full of Christ's love!!"
I do pray: if I need help or extra strength to keep myself sane, if I, my mom or dad or anyone I know are sick or in danger, you know, the usual. Sometimes these go with appeals to St. Jude, patron saint of impossible causes. For example, when I was trying to get paroled from my last office, I prayed and prayed, acknowledging of course that God would not put me in a situation He knows I can't handle. And then it happened, I was lifted out of that seventh circle of doom, and I spent the next few weeks randomly looking up at the heavens and giving thanks. I went to Catholic school for four years (but more for the fact that it was private and not so much for the parochial aspect of it), I've done time at several masses, and I've gone through First Communion and Confirmation. I've been known to wear a gold cross on a chain around my neck as well as a medal of the Virgin Mary. But I wear them more because they are symbols of protection given to me by my mother, who I really believe to be my guardian angel on earth. When I was in the hospital, close to death, my dad went to the shrine nearby to pray to the Virgin to help me, which she did, and with a quickness. We're all still thanking her for that, 20 years later.
So we are a religious family. But we tend to shun organized religion and what it teaches us, because we don't believe all of the rhetoric and dogma. Furthermore, some of it doesn't make any sense. And let me go even further and say that in my opinion, the Bible is a book written by men who insist it is the word of God, as if God said unto them "can you take dictation?" and the apostles all whipped out their old-school steno tablets and set to work. Don't get me wrong, the Bible does have a lot of good teachings in it, and for the most part, it encourages love and peace. But what doesn't make sense to me is, if God is such a benevolent and peaceful being, how then could He inspire such hatred in the world? Fanatical Muslims say that it is Allah and the prophet Mohammed who have ordered intifadahs and jihads all over the world against infidels. Christians said it was God who told them to ride off to Jerusalem to convert the Muslims during the Crusades. The Catholic kings of Spain insisted it was God who had them use torture to convert the Jews and Moors in the south of Spain to Catholicism. And now, it is God who says homosexuality is unnatural and shameful and we should pity gays and try to rid them of their "disease", as that is the Christian thing to do. Perhaps you can all see how none of this makes any sense, and even people who claim to be Christian or Muslim or Jewish misinterpret "what God said" in their respective Good Books. As for me, I'm sticking to the whole God as a benevolent and peaceful being idea, just to avoid confusion. So please, I don't want any titles or classifications being thrown my way.