If I were to post a dating ad on Craigslist for my unmoored spirituality, it would read something like this:
Lapsed Catholic seeks … something. Not sure what. About me: I’m 43, married (husband number two, but he’s a keeper) and mom to a 5-year-old boy. Raised Catholic, but also raised by a father who taught me to question authority and be very, very suspicious of group think. I know, right? No wonder I’m so confused.
So, yeah, I got married at 24 — Nuptial High Mass, of course — and that fell apart within three years. I was living in Washington D.C. at the time and I went to Mass occasionally because I was lonely and confused and felt guilty. Guess what? Mass didn’t help. It made me feel worse.
Around that time, a family member came out, and the sex abuse scandal was all over the news, and frankly, I was disgusted by the hypocrisy. So I bailed, on Catholicism and on church in general. When I moved back to San Francisco, I didn’t know anyone who went to church anyway, so I just let my spirituality drift.
Steve, my husband, thinks religion is a little odd. He didn’t grow up with it and he has real problems with some of the unfortunate side effects. At its worst, people kill people over their beliefs and at a minimum, people of faith can be irritating, with their sanctimony and evangelizing.
But here’s the thing, Prospective Faith: We have this kid now, and he’s really smart. He has lots of questions and he feels things deeply. He’s also adopted, and I think that God (or Buddha, or Allah, or whatever) might be a comfort to him. I feel like Steve and I need to model some sort of spiritual practice for him, so he can have it if he needs it.
I’ve gone “shopping” for other faiths. I’ve gone to Lutheran, Episcopalian, Methodist and non-denominational services, and nothing feels right. The few times I’ve gone to Catholic Mass it felt familiar and kind of comforting. But I just couldn’t, in good conscience, take my son to a church that believes being gay is bad. So we’re in this limbo, and lately, I’ve been really feeling the void in my heart.
About you: Welcoming, open and diverse. Committed to good works in the community and beyond (I love that about the Catholic Church). No loud rock music onstage, please — I think that’s weird. Also, the hands-in-the-air stuff makes me uncomfortable. I think faith is a private thing, and too much emoting seems inauthentic to me. Sorry. That’s just how I feel.
I don’t know. Maybe there is no religion for a blue-streak-swearing, pro-choice, authority-questioning, marriage-equality-supporting person like me. But maybe there is. Maybe it’s a church I’ve already met, and the timing wasn’t right. Maybe it’s a church I haven’t tried. Maybe it’s you?