On my way to the bathroom this morning, I was greeted by my dad’s infamous lecture on the importance of getting in the habit of going to church every sunday. This was a practice instilled in us since childhood, but as my siblings and I grew older, more open-minded, and consumed with our busy schedules, attending church on Sunday became an afterthought. Soon we stopped going to church altogether and only attended mass on holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas.
As I sit here typing and thinking back on the various points he made, I can confirm that they are wholly based on his misogynistic views, and though I didn’t express it to him in the moment it occurred, have deeply offended me as a young woman. My dad’s words were, “as long as I belive in God, I have to make it a point to go to church–fair enough–then added specifically with him–okay, what. So regardless of being a 22 year old college graduate and working woman, I have to tag along with my dad to mass every Sunday? Easily reminding me that as long as I’m livin at home, I must live under my parents direction. But the part that I found most irksome, was him saying “until I’m married and start a family I’m unable to make my own decisions as to whether I want to attend church or not. Once I’m married, my husband will have the authority to make that decision for myself and our children about whether it is deemed necessary for us to go to church every Sunday, or to decide whether we want to practice a religion or not.”
I’m just…. so… flabbergasted.
How in the year of 2017 am I not allowed to decide my personal religious views? Instead I should wait for a man to come along, ask for my hand in marriage, and submissively follow his beliefs and give me the ok to not go to church? I refuse. It’s an archaic and unacceptable way of thinking. When I feel compelled and inspired to find a church that upholds similar beliefs as mine, I will gladly attend their services. Which leads into my next topic: the Catholic church.
According to research, Christianity became the religion of the Roman Empire around 392 AD. Christianity is a beautiful practice in which its followers are devoutly invested in its traditional teachings. The numerous holidays they celebrate and religious figures they worship are recognized globally. I find Roman Catholic Church truly remarkable and sacred, however, woven in their teachings are certain views of hypocrisy that I cannot patronize.
Many of the things they preach are grounded in the importance of love–as one of the Ten Commandments states “loving your neighbor as yourself.” This is my favorite commandment of them all because it speaks directly to human nature. It’s inclusive and generalizes “neighbor” as any and every human being on this planet. However, I believe Catholics are selective in whom this commandment is applicable. They preach about love and faith and forgiveness, but are quick to demonize anyone who is different from them, whether it be homosexuals or people from other religious backgrounds. It’s a complicated religion, but at this stage of my life I’d like to decide what I will and will not practice.
Words by Jenny K.