Friday, June 19, 2009

to deity, or not to deity

i've missed my pop a lot this week. i missed him last week as well, but this week felt especially crappy. maybe it's the rain, maybe it's talking to some of his old college buddies, maybe it's just how grief works. you get respite sometimes, just so you don't go nuts, but it doesn't go away, necessarily. just comes in waves. this morning i put on a bracelet he and my mom sent me while i was in alaska. i'm sure my mom picked it out; it's one of those wooden stretchy bracelets with the saints and mary pasted on the square wooden beads. campy and funny and right in line with my love of catholic tchotchkes. even though i know mom picked it out and put it in the mail, it came from both of them and when i got it i wore it i thought of them both. i understood then how lucky i was to have both my folks, and how lucky i was that they would love me even when i was being a pain in their collective asses. wearing the bracelet then, and now, reminds me of that. it has nothing to do with belief in god, because i don't have any.

of course, i know a lot of people actually think that the glow-in-the-dark mary in my car, my religious themed jewelry, and plethora of rosaries means i have faith. most of the people i know are protestant christian of some sort, and my being apparently catholic means they don't talk religion to me. a lot of people are surprised when i tell them i don't actually believe, that i don't have faith in god or saints or hell or heaven. some folks don't believe me. my atheism happened over time, and it wasn't until a little over two years ago i felt okay talking about it with anyone. it's not something i talk about often, for sure, because in some ways it feels like a non-issue. i still enjoy christian holidays, although i feel like they're just a good way to enjoy time with my friends and family and do some serious cooking/eating. at times, though, i wonder if i know any other atheists. D has faith of a sort (non-denominational), feels fairly sure there's a god and that god is okay with him. my co-worker M is a devout and serious seventh-day adventist. my mom is still catholic. i live and work and love people with faith, but just don't have it myself. when i wear my little saintly bracelet i wonder who i might know who is also an atheist. is it you? do you talk about it? were you once but now aren't? i'm curious.


Anne said...

ooh, hard question! I'll have to think about it and post something on my own blog (after my cousin's wedding so I don't have to answer any questions from the fam). Aaron and I are between you and D. If that's possible. Maybe leaning a little more toward you, though.

Rachel said...

It's funny--Ever since my grandfather died, I've kind been going the opposite direction as you....I've never been big on going to church or anything, and with as liberally as I was raised, a lot of religious tenets conflict with what I've come to believe, so I've run screaming from a lot. Plus, I've always struggled because while my family is Lutheran, and my mom still eschews organized religion in general, my sister & I went to Catholic school, so that's what I know. My husband's family is pretty hard-core Lutheran, although they've been pretty good about not cramming it down my throat, because I've made it pretty clear that that's another aspect of religion in general I don't like. All that aside, I've been feeling lately like I'm kind of in a spiritual limbo, and for me, maybe finally exploring practicing a religion isn't such a bad thing. And I don't really discuss a lot of this with anyone other than my husband--It's a pretty personal thing with me, and no one's business but my own. Sorry for writing a book here!