No More Empty Fortune Cookies!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Who are these people?

As the great job hunt of 2008 continues I paused today to talk to my mother. I know, I know. I must be a glutton for punishment and torture. I was raised in the Catholic Church after all. She was full of useless info about her new church and the homeless women at the shelter that she and my father minister to. I should just be grateful that I'm not in a position to be ministered to in order to receive a warm place to stay tonight. I don't understand that. If you feel in your heart that you need to care for and serve less fortunate people, why then does it have to be contingent upon the less fortunate person submitting themselves to your biased paradigm and zealotry? I suppose that it actually is a quite effective form of obtaining new converts. However, I was raised differently; to believe that doing a favor should be without strings attached. That giving in the name of charity is gift enough and that it would diminish or tarnish the gift to request something in return or to require something in exchange. True charity comes from an absolute selfless place in the soul and what I am seeing with this set up is in reality a front for a fundamentalist recruiting operation. My parents, once bright and intelligent people have bought into the whole mess hook, line and sinker. I used to think that these fundamentalist were all just a bunch of uneducated hillbillys but I see now that it is much more elaborate. My father is an engineer. He can calculate equations in his head that I have some difficulty working on a calculator, and faster too! I don't remember exactly when it happened, somewhere between my coming out and moving to California and my big break up and move back home to Tennessee my parents became religious zealots. They were brainwashed. My father who used to enjoy Mel Brooks movies now only watches religious themed films. The man who used to be prepared to entertain a party at the drop of a hat with drinks and cheer and jokes is now, sadly, only touting the words of a book that his minister has twisted and construed into hate and bigotry. The worst part is that it is all done under the guise of " love".
That isn't love. When I called my parents to tell them I was getting married, my mother said simply " Oh, here" and handed the phone to my father. My father said with a huge sigh, " well, you know you're going to burn in hell for this, don't you?"
I didn't get another call from them for 4 months after that.
Macey's parents came to our wedding which was in Canada by the way, not like it was a 30 minute drive or something so simple to attend. They gave us two parties in fact. One for our friends here in Tennessee and one for their family up in Ohio. Her entire family welcomed me into the unit. They all embraced our marriage just as they are embracing Matt and Lauren's engagement. There's been no distinction between the two. In my family however, my marriage is absolutely disregarded and ignored. All because "Jesus doesn't agree" with it. Please! As I stated before, I was raised in the Catholic Church, in Catholic school in fact. I studied the bible cover to cover. If fundamentalists want to really teach and preach the fundamentals of the bible, then they should be talking about absolute love, tolerance, and acceptance. These are the virtues that I learned from my studies of the same book.

3 cookies cracked:

coffeypot said...

It is sad when the religious dogma takes hold. As for them being brain washed, that is what all religions do. Just as we are brain washed to obey traffic signs, go to a new class when the bell rings, etc. Maybe a bolt of lightning will blow his ass back into mainstream religion before it’s too late.

Kathy T. said...

Are your parents still Catholic? I was also raised as a Catholic and my own parents seem fairly gung-ho, but not to this degree.

Fortune Cookies said...

Kathy- no, my parents have left the Catholic church and are now affiliated with a non-denominational or multi-denominational "church" (and I use the term "church" loosely. They actually told me once that they now know that the worst thing that they could have done to me was to send me to Catholic school and to instill in me the catholic beliefs, and that they are hoping not to burn in hell for that! I'd much rather they go back to being gung-ho catholics. THAT I could handle. This is a whole new Jerry Falwell/Pat Robertson-like minister with fundamentalist ideals. They also told me that their minister told the congregation " we have strong men in this congregation, so ladies,if your man isn't treating you right, we have men that can come grab him up and take him out to the woods and settle the score old school style, like it should be" WHAT? So this minister is condoning violence? Great. They were so proud of that. Thought it the greatest thing that they'd ever heard. And I was like, I thought a minister is supposed to teach you how to love. I thought if someone isn't treating you right, you should learn to love yourself enough to leave that situation? Not seek revenge. But, that's just me, I suppose.