Monday, February 11, 2008

Following the "Teachings of Cathol"

Yesterday I took the kiddo to church. I've taken him to the Catholic church a bit in the past, and taken him to Quaker meetings a handful of times, and his dad has taken him to the Methodist and Baptist churches. His dad has a bible that the kiddo reads once in a while, and I have a book of children's bible stories that we've read as well. Lately, though, the kiddo has been asking, "What am I?" and I've said he's a Christian. His dad's former girlfriend was Jewish, and my son learned about Hannukah (at least) along with Christmas last year at school. He's had a smattering of religious influences, although he was never baptized (except informally by my dad, which I don't believe is considered valid in the Catholic church).

I don't think it's necessary for a person to be baptized to have a relationship with God, nor do I think it's necessary for a person to be a believer to be a good person. A former boyfriend of mine was the most kindhearted, selfless, wonderful person I've ever met, and he didn't believe in God, whereas the people we knew put on a show of going to church and were hateful in their personal lives. Still, I've been wanting the kiddo to have a more formal religious education, so I took him yesterday to the children's liturgy at our nearby Catholic church. I should add that he was adamant about not going, but naturally I win these battles. ;^) It had been a little while since I'd been to that particular church, and it was nice to be able to show my son the ropes. For the first part of the mass, we went into a separate chapel with all the kids, and a teacher conducted a question-and-answer lesson about that day's gospel reading. A couple of kids knew all the answers, and I realized how much I'd absorbed in my lifelong Catholic education -- and how much my son was missing by going to a public school. It's time to correct this.

After the children's liturgy, we rejoined the congration for the consecration, etc., and the kiddo enjoyed learning when to sit, stand and kneel, how to genuflect, and how to find the super-slow hymns* in the hymnal by looking at the numbers on the board at the front of the church. After mass was over, I showed him around the church and he had questions about the Stations of the Cross depicted on the stained glass windows on the walls of the church. As we made our way back to the car, he told me, "You know, that wasn't as boring as I thought it was going to be, but it was less exciting than I hoped it would be, so it was pretty much medium."

I can live with medium right now. ;^)

* Eddie Izzard: "There's something weird, something phenomenally dreary about Christian singing. The gospel singers are the singers who just go PRAISE! and JOY! and it's born out of kidnapping, imprisonment, slavery, murder, and it's joyous singing, and the Church of England, well, all of those sort of Christian religions, mainly Caucasian white people with all the power and money -- enough power and money to make Solomon blush, they'll sing, ',' They're the only people who can sing hallelujah without feeling like it's a hallelujah."