Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Catholic School for Protestants? or shall we continue to protest?

The table was set and the meal prepared. We waited for the Father to arrive. We had decided that DD wanted to go to the Catholic School. We understood that this meant that she would go to mass daily and undertake religious education and were ok with that. She was confirmed this year in our Congregational denomination, so I was fairly confident that while she was still developing her belief system, she was founded in a strong basis that would not waiver beneath this Catholic system. It crossed my mind that this would not be the limit of what was expected of us, and I was correct. It was asked that the entire family begin attending mass on a weekly basis.

On a cursory view this may not seem like much of a request. We are both Christians. We already attend church on a weekly basis. But such a request is bigger than that . . .I tried to make an analogy for my husband. Imagine as a Yankee fan, you got a job at Fenway. Such a job meant that you were able to watch baseball almost daily, but you were never able to see your favorite team in action (yes, I know the analogy breaks down here because the Red Sox and the Yankees actually do play each other, but I think you get the idea). It would be unlikely that as a family we would attend two church services a week and so such a choice would stop us from practicing our own religion. And I think that there are enough differences, that we would not feel completely fulfilled in the Catholic religion. My husband thinks that we would adapt and maybe even eventually convert, but I don’t . There are too many issues that I feel too passionately about. Frankly, I wonder too, how it will feel to always be excluded, always be the outsider. Is participating in and of itself, supporting something I don’t believe is right. Is this too high a price to pay?

It is interesting to think that we often think of different religions as being Buddhist vs. Christian, or monotheistic vs. pantheistic, atheist vs. believer, but truthfully there are many times in my life that differences in religion lie on much closer paths like this Catholic vs. Congregationalist consideration.

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