Posted by: chlost | March 27, 2010


Here it is, Saturday afternoon.  I remember how much I looked forward to Saturdays as a kid.  I still look forward to them.

‘Today, I am doing a lot of nothing.  I have been reading a few books.  I am back to reading.  I hadn’t had much interest in reading since the first of the year, for some reason, then, after my sister’s death, it was even harder to have any interest in reading.  In the past few days, I have read 4 or 5 books.  Several of them are a series that my sister had read, and told me she enjoyed.  They are a series, silly stories; a cross between the Mitford series, Janet Evanovich mysteries and Raymond Chandler.  They are by a guy named Mark Schweiz.  The main character is a North Carolinian Episcopalian choir director.   There are many inside jokes about music.  I think that is what my sister, who was a singer and director of Episcopalian choirs in Virginia.

I also just finished a book by a local author, Sue Leaf, whom I met at a book/author gathering a few weeks ago.   It is a compilation of essays about the lake where she lives, and the corresponding seasons of the Lutheran church she attends.  She writes a lot about religion and nature, our relationship to the world and nature as humans. These essays hit home with me on many levels, in particular because I live in an area quite similar to that she describes.  I have noticed and thought about many of the same issues.

Is it weird that I have so suddenly found myself reading books which include so much religion?  I was raised Lutheran.  I attended a Methodist church in our small town when our children were young.  I have had no involvement with a church for over 10 years, and I don’t intend to begin again.  I am outraged by organized religion, and have realized that my beliefs do not include organized religion.  So, why are these books finding their way to me?

My sister’s death brough this issue up in my mind.  I sat through the service, and realized that although it was somewhat comforting to hear the familiar songs and liturgy that I was taught as a child, I really don’t believe it. In taking with the Rabbi of the Temple where my sister sang in the choir, I think I agree more with what I see as the beliefs of Judaism.  But not everything.

The current political climate is so permeated with religious zealots.  I have no time nor patience for it.  The church is political itself, and it is not a pretty sight.  The Catholic Church is trying to cover its ass over sexual abuse by priests.  The local Lutheran churches are in a huge fight over the ordination of openly gay clergy-they are splitting up over this issue.  The Episcopal priest who was involved with my sister’s service was hurtful and insensitive beyond description.  The Methodist church we attended with our children has become an evangelical, born again congregation closer to the “Free church” or Baptists.   The ultra conservative religious right’s interjection into politics is beyond scary. I do not agree with any of these.

Yet, I am still struggling with defining my own beliefs.  I know that I do not believe organized religions’ basic tenets. It has been harder for me to step away from what I was taught as a child and clarify what I do believe as an adult.  I do believe in social justice.  I do believe that what we believe must also respect and honor the beliefs of others.  I draw the line at violence in the name of religion.  I guess that is the starting point in my inner discussion.

So, here I am, spending my Saturday reading an considering my place in the world.  I think I need a break-when will it be Monday?



  1. Losing a sibling tends to be a mental hotfoot that gets one considering one’s beliefs. Religion is man made and therefore imperfect. As a renegade Catholic, I am struggling greatly. I think I want to sit down with my priest — a truly wonderful, good man — and talk once I get myself sorted out a bit. Like you, I see a lot that’s good in Judaism.

    And I read a lot too!!!! Want some recommendations? Reading, for me, has always been a refuge.

    I’m so glad you found my blog. Your blog mirrors a lot of my thoughts and gives me pause to consider them. Thank you!!!!

    • Thanks-I have been visiting your blog pretty regularly for a while. I feel like we definitely have some common thoughts, too. I always love to hear book recommendations…..can’t get enough.

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