I Concede My Glasses May Have Had Rose Lenses

When I was a young girl, about 10 years old, I started to attend the Very Popular Presbyterian Church.  It was wonderful.  I loved church.  I loved the people, the message, the entire thing.   I spent my teenage years involved in their very active youth group, doing all sorts of fun activities.  We put on full production musicals, we had book clubs, sports teams, and a choir.  We owned an 88 acre camp where I worked in the summer as a lifeguard.  During the school year I did something church related at least three days a week.  Eventually I even became a deacon.

I had the greatest friends.  Our church, being very popular, attracted the most interesting, intelligent and talented kids in our town.  We had a bumper crop of musicians, actors and artists by the dozen; some kids were just really, really nice. 

Now here comes the shocking part.  (At least it’s shocking to my modern day, living-almost-in-the-south, fundamentalist-saturated experience.) We never learned about hell.  We were never pushed to ‘receive salvation.’ We were allowed to talk about and debate scripture all day if we wanted.  In fact, it was encouraged, but most kids didn’t really care. Jesus was a wonderful counselor and God was love.  That was the end of the story.

Sunday night Fellowship was packed, but not just by members of the church.  Jewish kids came. Catholic kids came. If our town had any Muslims or Hindus, I bet they would have come, too.  The message was clear.  Everyone was welcome.  And I know this may be very hard to believe, but others’ faiths were respected.

It’s no surprise to grow up and find a lot of my former youth group friends are now Unitarian Universalists.  I have heard in the Midwest there are some Christian UU churches, and I bet their message is very similar to one I heard back then.   A few, like me, are out atheists. 

As my own children were entering adolescence, I wanted them to have this experience, too.  When my older daughter, faced with the discouraging fact that The Big Popular Church in our town is Southern Baptist, began expressing a need for like-minded community we started attending the UU church. 

As you can see from yesterday’s post (and undoubtedly a few in the future) this didn’t go so well.

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About Brick Window

A mother and an atheist--Just trying to do the best I can in a suburb full of believers.
This entry was posted in Tolerance, Unitarian Universalism. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to I Concede My Glasses May Have Had Rose Lenses

  1. prosey says:

    I almost envy that you got to debate, but never got the whole fire & brimstone teachings.

    Almost.

  2. Brick Window says:

    🙂 I know, Prosey, but think about it. It still didn’t stick!

  3. fribnit says:

    growing up Jewish I never did understand the Hell, pain, eternal damnation, fire and brimstone thing. We just never had that at all. You followed the laws of the faith because it was the proper thing to do, not because you feared punishment.

    All in all, not a bad thing.

    I like pork to much to have stayed religious 😉

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