I'll start this post with something bad, then I'll talk about something good.
I grew up in a home with Christian parents. They converted from...sort of Catholicism(ish) to full blown Pentecostal evangelical Christianity when I was 9. It was an abrupt change. For me, I was just going with the flow. For my parents, it must have been a radical change. I say Catholicism, but it was all cultural. Everyone in Santa Fe identified with the Catholic flavor of Christianity. We never went to church. I didn't do catechism like many of my friends in school. I was baptized, but it wasn't a closely adhered to tradition in my family.
When I was 9 that all changed. There is no half-assing full blown Pentecostal evangelicalism. We went to church weekly. Like three times or more, weekly. There's Sunday morning, like most other Christians, then there's Sunday night, Tuesday night Royal Rangers, Wednesday night church, Thursday night youth group then the occasional "work day" on Saturday (the sabbath(lol)). Some weeks, our family was at the church every single day.
To say the least, church was a big part of our lives. It's easy to imagine I was indoctrinated. Some things I learned as truth as a young boy: Bill Clinton was evil and killed babies, the rapture was imminent and I better be prepared or God will burn me with Satan and his demons for eternity, the Bible is without error and should be interpreted literally, evolution is a lie from the pit of Hell, be afraid of gay people, guns are good, America is the best. I was taught some good things. I was taught I should help people. I was taught community is a good thing. I was taught Jesus loves me. I feel like the things I should not do were emphasized over the things I should not do, however.
Ugh, yeah. There's a lot there. Now that I've spent fifteen years away from my parents church, I've had some time to ponder what I was taught.
I pause for a minute. Why am I writing this? It's a long explanation--me breaking down my thoughts of the massacre that took place in Orlando this last weekend. I grew up being told that gay people are sinning and guns are an American right.
I've never liked guns. It was easy for me, even as a child, to understand that guns were invented to kill. I knew that killing was wrong. So, guns were bad. I still feel that way. It's not a hard argument for me. I guess someone could argue that guns were invented to defend. Okay, maybe. But, it has to stop somewhere. History began with people killing with their hands, then someone had the advantage because they picked up a rock and used it as a weapon, then someone else had an advantage because they made a spear, then someone invented the sword and could kill more effectively, finally gunpowder was discovered and guns were invented. Now, guns have evolved from a metal tube shooting debris to firing hundreds of RPM (rounds per minute). Guns are designed to kill people and with today's technology, they can kill a lot of people.
I think there might be some time when I'll need a gun. Anarchy. Zombie apocalypse. (Trump presidency?). Sure, there are bad people. Bad people have guns. Bad people can break in to your home. They might shoot you. I don't think I'll give in to that fear. Is that irresponsible on my part? Am I refusing to wear my seat belt? I don't know. I don't see Jesus packing heat if he were alive today.
I am beginning to see a Jesus that is much different than the Jesus that was taught to me as a kid. Jesus loves gay people. "Love the sinner, hate the sin." That was repeated over and over in my church growing up. I think it's bullshit. Love. That's it. I think Jesus was here to Love. Period. The end.
I don't like the Christianity I was brought up with. And the state of my country scares me a bit.
I'll finish my post here. I thought I wanted to post something good, too. I guess I wanted to write down a few of my thoughts. I've got some more things to work through. It's sort things out for myself, and I hope I can pass some good ideas down to my kids.
Okay, maybe I'm not done. I'll finish this post with something good. My daughter was born on Tuesday. She's absolutely beautiful. I love her so much. I was expecting that holding my baby daughter would be exactly the same as holding my sons, but it's not. Holding my sons for the first time was special for each one of them. Holding my daughter was something else. I'm a happy dad. Good things do exist on this Earth.
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