“Hi, my name is Loralee, and I am grey.”
Seriously, there should be a support group for gray people like me. I’m a moderate politically, I waffle about things from religion to my opinion on skinny jeans, I can see both sides of just about every story, I have a hard time saying “THIS is what I believe!”.
In other words, I’m a fence sitter.
I don’t know how or why I am this way, I just am. Maybe I am a coward. Maybe I am lazy. Maybe I just have too much empathy, who knows? One thing I do know is that people don’t care much for fence sitters.
I don’t talk about my feelings about religion a whole lot on this blog. I already feel weird and well, this does tend to make me weirder as far as most of the world is concerned. I am really, really thinking this may be a very bad idea, but since this week is going so swimmingly and I am a bit of a masochist, here we go.
I mentioned that my son, Christopher was baptized this weekend. Yes, he was. With my blessing. With his father’s blessing. This has caused confusion with many people, mainly because I haven’t clarified my situation in awhile. I am still confused about a lot of it. If I don’t have it sorted out, how could you all?
I am inactive from the LDS church, as is my husband. It happened after my son died. I am not going into detail about it. It is very personal and long and this post is already a freaking novel. My children go to church every week with their grandparents. Because they want to. Frankly? I don’t have a problem with it.
While I do have issues, they are more with God than with bitterness towards the LDS church. I do not want my issues to be my children’s issues. At least as much as possible. My husband and I see eye-to-eye on church and our kids. It is a different scenario when one feels strongly about faith and the other has equal conviction with an opposing belief and you are trying to make a decision like this regarding children that you both share. I feel so bad for both parties in that situation.
And therein lies the rub.
In general, a lot of people who have left the church (Or religion in general) want me to think it is silly, ridiculous or are completely non-respectful of people who believe in it. I have been told that allowing my children to go to church is akin to the grooming programs street gangs use to indoctrinate children. So many have zero tolerance and amazing zeal against it. my very anti-Mormon grandmother, included.
I think that is simply an arrogant attempt to indoctrinate as well, just for another point of view. I can usually see their arguments and I can definitely understand how they have often been driven to feel the way that they do. I have objection to things in Mormonism, I have been hurt by it, so I get a lot of what they are saying. I just do not think that everyone who is LDS or religious are simply mindless sheep that are being led along because they are too witless to think for themselves. I have seen people take great comfort, joy and happiness in devout following of a religion. I respect that and am more than a little envious, actually.
That said, I get a whole lot of stuff from the other side-how I should be a better example to my children, how confusing it must be for them, how our eternal salvation is at risk, how I can only be “Really” happy as a Mormon. I have felt the subtle judgments (Some not so subtle) the slights, the sorting that goes on in the mind when people see my sleeveless shirts or cup of coffee and I am put in the “Other” category.
I think it is equally arrogant that there can only be just one way to happiness. I do not believe that Mormonism is for everyone. I don’t think that Christianity or Deity is for everyone. To be so simplistic to think that smoking can sum up a persons worth or to not allow my children to play with yours because I don’t go to church. Still, I can see and understand and believe that yes, many people are genuinely happy as faithful Mormons or in a devout religion. There is doctrine unique to Mormonism that I fervently believe in, so I get that as well.
Although I am addressing the extremes of opinion of this argument, I see both sides. I relate to both sides. I have compassion for both sides. I find it interesting that both sides are determined to see the other as incapable of geniune happiness.
(Oh, and for the rest of you? You people who just say “Dude. Whatever. Just be yourself and be happy.” You are appreciated.)
My moral compass might as well be a Twister spinner for all intents and purposes. Maybe I’ll go back, maybe I won’t. As for my kids? I am trying my best to give them love and support in whatever path makes them happy. I want them to have enough exposure and confidence that they can be comfortable and happy if they believe in a God and in a religion. To be open to that possibility.
I also want them to be raised to know that people who don’t believe the same way or who consume coffee or smoke can be just as good, just as happy as any Mormon that they know. To see people that are different as equal, not just tolerate and love them “In spite” of not being religious. If they chose a different path then that, they are ok and fine and lovely just as they are. To know that they can choose for themselves and that I love them and accept them no matter what.
Maybe that’s not possible or wrong, dunno. I’m doing my best people, my very best. I can only work with what I have to work with, ya know? I’m ok with how I’m doing, actually.
So, maybe I am finally planting my feet down and being decisive about something for a change. I think I am just fine being a fence sitter for now. For one, I’m developing a fairly nice backbone sitting here because I have to balance both sides without falling off. Plus, the air up here is clear, it smells nice, and I have a pretty great view up here on this fence.
In fact, from where I’m sitting I can actually tell you which side the grass is greener on. If you want to know this amazing bit of information, I take Visa, Master Card, and Large Bills. I’ll need it for the huge-ass order of paper bags I’ll be using to try and not hyperventilate when I open my email in the morning.