At this time of year I tend to think about religion. I am by no means religious in a church kinda way but I can’t help but look at all the reindeer, stockings full of junk, fairy lights and sigh quietly about how we have lost the meaning of Christmas and how we are getting so damn American.
Christmas for me is about family, about being thankful for my health, my lot in life and spending time with each other. It is not about the birth of Christ (for me anyway), but at the same time it’s not about mass consumerism. (The adults in my family gave up making a big deal of Christmas many years ago.)
I was brought up Catholic and I went to Catholic schools. Faith is something that is very important to my mum, and I can remember going to church with her as a little girl at Christmas and Easter.
With the end of high school my connection to the Catholic Church disappeared, until I got married to the Ginger Hunk. In. A. Church.
We looked at parks. We looked at restaurants. We looked at look outs and green pastures. Nothing beat my school chapel, on the grounds of the school where I spent six awesome years. (I was one of those losers that bawled their eyes out when school ended.)
This decision to get hitched in a church was nothing to do with religion again… but to do with having a feeling of connection and community. Isn’t that what religion gives people anyway? The Priest who married us, knew me and my family from waaayyy back when I was a little tacker. He understood my husband’s non believing position and my ambivalence about organised religion (I believe in something but it is not what is spelt out in the bible). It might sound weird, but despite our ambivalence the decision to get married in a church was easy, because it meant the world to my mum, and was a place of familiarity and history for me.
I also know couples who were staunch not-getting-married-in-a-church-type-people then turned around and had their children baptised… what the??
I guess this is just as weird as getting married in a church if you are not particularly religious.
A friend came up and stayed with me this week. She has always believed in God, and has had a strong faith but in recent years has invested more of her time in her faith. I must say (and I told her this on the beach the other day) that she seemed so happy and more settled than I have seen her in years. Same job, same friends, same hobbies (no she has not met a millionaire which could have explained the glow she had) but she seemed to be onto something good.
She has been feeding her soul and the benefits were noticeable.
Now, the Ginger Hunk is VERY anti-religion. (This surprises me because he is a pretty chillaxed open minded person most of the time about most things.) He got on a rant with my friend and they were talking to each other but getting nowhere fast because they were both speaking to each other from a different universes. I get his point. Religion has caused much war and heartache in the world. But if you are an adult and making your own decision about what is right for you then how does that impact on anyone else unless you are a radical psychopath? It is the one thing we log heads on.
Whether you are Catholic, Hindu, Muslim or Buddhist or tap into your sixth sense or meditate then each to their own I say.
As long we do not cause anyone else harm then I think people can believe what they like.
We all need to find our own path and our own purpose our own way, and that is no one elses business but ours.
What do you reckon?
Do you have faith?
Would you baptise your children?
Or is your meaning of faith more like the George Michael kinda thing?