“You know, here’s what I don’t get about you. You know for a fact that there is a God. You’ve been in His presence. He’s spoken to you personally. Yet I just heard you claim to be an atheist.”
“I just like to fuck with the clergy, man. I just love it, I love to keep those guys on their toes.”
This post was a bit tl;dr, so it’ll be spaced into three posts over the coming weeks.
I have reached a spiritual crossroads in my life. I’ve experienced several, but this is perhaps the biggest (although not necessarily the most profound). Almost two years ago I posted an entry modeled after directions from Mapquest that detailed my “religious roadmap”, and I’m revisiting that today. As I mentioned previously, I was raised Catholic and have waffled back and forth between the Catholic church and other faiths as the years have progressed. I would best describe my relationship with Catholicism as I would describe an attempted platonic relationship with an ex – you respect the role they had in your life and there are good memories, but sometimes the temptation is too great and you fall back into a sexual or “friends with benefits” relationship even though you know it’s not a good idea. I currently attend services at the local Catholic church because the community and volunteer opportunities are inexpensive and easily accessible to me, and while there are certain aspects of Catholicism that I will always find endearing, my relationship with the church is not one I plan on continuing once my fiancée and I move in together. Part of this is fueled by a discovery I made recently regarding receiving the Eucharist – apparently, both divorcees and married gay persons are not permitted to receive Communion, something I had been unaware of until I read an article about the new Pope and whether or not the Catholic church would ever accept gay marriage (an interesting side note – even straight allies who support gay marriage were apparently urged to not receive Communion by an archbishop in Detroit). I had been under the impression that only people who had been excommunicated were not allowed to partake in the Eucharist, although technically you shouldn’t even receive it if you haven’t been to confession – you’re not supposed to receive Communion if you have a “mortal sin” on your hands. But the point is that the distribution of the Eucharist is the only part of the mass I still connect to (and even then, it’s a shoddy connection at best), and so I’m not too keen to continue attending services at a church that doesn’t let me fully participate.
And so, therein lies the crossroads: spirituality is important to me and I would like a religious outlet in my life, but I am torn as to whether or not I want to be Jewish or whether or not I want to be Pagan.