Sunday, June 26, 2011

Confusion = Guest Blogger!
Day 12: Your Favorite Ship

Um... I'm not really sure what is meant by "ship." Because they don't go sailing or anything that much in Harry Potter.


Here's a guest blog instead. Enjoy!


When I discovered Emily's blog, a little *dingdingding* jackpot noise went off inside my head. I knew I'd stumbled across one of those rare blogs that are my favorite kind to read: people who are not afraid to talk about their faith, but use it as a doorway, not a weapon.

I have a love/hate relationship with organized religion, particularly the Catholic church, in which I was raised. In my mind, there are a lot of great reasons for religion as it relates to faith in God:
  • It brings people of the same faith together.
  • It challenges people to grow in their faith.
  • It supports people who are struggling with their faith.
  • It is a source for wisdom and historical background about faith.
In short, where religion helps to strengthen faith in God, I think it is awesome.

On the other hand, it upsets me when people use religion in a way that hurts faith.

I have a friend who is a super-nice and very funny guy, but manages to keep up enough of an outer shell that you can never really get him to talk about any of his deep thoughts or feelings. I was in religious ed classes with him for several years and he managed to do all the assignments without ever revealing anything very personal or really seeming to let anything touch him deeply.

Around the time that all the students were beginning to prepare for Confirmation, God put it on my heart to pray for this friend, that it was incredibly important that he take down the wall between himself and God. And so I did, every night. Some time later, all of us students went on a retreat together, and I thought maybe this would be the moment when he would allow himself to be vulnerable and maybe take faith in God seriously.

What happened there made my heart hurt. Still does.

I found out later, in a rare moment of honesty from him, that he had gotten in a conversation with one of the older student leaders on the retreat and had actually started talking about faith in God. This is huge, y'all. This could have been a turning point.

And not two minutes later our youth minister came over and told them they needed to stop talking because it was time for Mass. She wouldn’t listen to anything they said about why they were talking, just that it was time for Mass and no one was allowed to miss Mass.

And that pretty much cemented the wall between him and God.

In this case I don't think the youth minister really thought about what she was doing, and yet it still had deep consequences. Which is why it upsets me even more when people purposely use religion against other people.

I have a lot of gay friends, and unfortunately I know quite a few who have given up on the idea of God altogether. To them, trying to establish a relationship with God would mean religion, and religion is something that has been used to beat them over the head and tell them that the way they were born is evil and twisted and they should feel guilty about having feelings they can't control.

You think any of that is bringing them closer to God?

I did some theatre in high school, and one day during play practice a big fight erupted. I discovered a nice Jewish girl I knew was crying because a Christian girl had gone off on her about how she was going to hell for being Jewish and not believing in Jesus, because Jesus is the only way to salvation.

Do you think that made that girl feel like getting to know Jesus?

So I want to say thank you to Emily and all the other people of faith who aren’t trying to conform to a mold or judging others for not being perfect Christians. You provide a shining example of faith for everyone by showing that normal, accepting, Harry Potter-loving people can also love God, and that it's possible to talk about God and even make God the focus of your life without alienating those who haven't yet developed a relationship with God. You rock.


Advice-giving and advice-seeking, full of wisdom and questions, Jessica is a 20-something data analyst, wannabe copyeditor, and general Type A who likes to pretend she's not. Faith Permeating Life is a window into her attempts to make the most of marriage before kids, figure out how to be liberal and Catholic, and find a little bit of happiness every day. You can also find her @keepbabbling on Twitter.


Note from Emmy: Thank you so much Jessica! Reading this made my heart so happy. I'm glad that you've been able to relate to some of the topics I've talked about. It's good to know that I'm not the only one who thinks this way!

1 comment:

  1. Just found you today through Dylan's link to his guest post here, and decided to poke around a little. Glad I did! :)

    1. "Ship" is short for "relationship"... :)
    2. Great guest post!
    I have a couple of friends like this too, who don't believe because of conversations they've had with certain people, or because of actions people have taken that seem hypocritical or things like that. I know that I've possibly been part of the cause of their dislike for religion or faith, and I'm trying really hard to think before I speak and act so that I don't turn people off!


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