Dixie Darr

God Has No Religion

In Church, spirituality on July 18, 2017 at 6:14 am

I am not a religious person, although I go to church every Sunday. If you think going to church makes a person religious, you’re just not paying attention.
I’ve said before that my only criterion when I went church shopping was one that didn’t teach hate. I got lucky. I not only found that in the first church I visited, I also found one that doesn’t tell me what to believe, something I didn’t even know I wanted.
I’ve never met a rule I didn’t want to break, which is why I wouldn’t be a good Catholic–well that and the crushing sexism. Let’s hit the pause button here for a minute so I can apologize to my Catholic friends. Your religion probably works very well for you, and no religion is perfect. You may rail against some of its imperfections, just as I do with the UMC.
This, however, is the story of two times when I ran smack into first, the Catholic church and second, a Catholic church.
In 1965 I went to Quebec with my high school French club. One day we visited churches and cathedrals. At that time, the church required women to cover their heads. The girls in our group without scarves bobby pinned pieces of Kleenex on their heads. That didn’t strike me as a way to show respect for anyone, including me. I refused and had to remain outside.
I may be poorer for not having seen the architecture and artwork inside, but I’m still pretty proud of my 17-year-old self for standing up for my principles.
The second event happened decades later when I lived in North Denver’s Highland neighborhood and took long walks every day. I frequently walked past Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church. It was open in the morning, so I decided to stop in to pray/meditate/think for a few minutes.
My protestant sensibilities were initially offended by all the statues (27 by my count), which I saw as graven images, but I made my way to a pew and even used the handy kneeler. After I had stopped in a few times, a priest approached me about joining the church. I told him I already had a church, but he wouldn’t leave me alone. One day he brought me a book with a charm of the Virgin Mary inside it.
I didn’t read the book and I never went back to Mount Carmel.
He undoubtedly thought he was bringing me the One True Religion. Obviously, I didn’t see it that way. I don’t believe religion comes in one size fits all. That doesn’t even work for knit hats.
In my world, all roads lead to God.

  1. […] we took the train to Quebec with the French Club, where I had my kleenex-on-the-head meltdown (https://constantlearner.wordpress.com/2017/07/18/god-has-no-religion/). So we went through a lot together. After graduation, she went to an exclusive liberal arts […]

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