July 4, 2009

I'm proud of my faith

Today The Hubbster was sleeping for night shift, and Miss D was on a sleepover/shopping spree/all attention on her visit with her Nanna, so it was just the two kids and me. I decided to take them to a couple of parks for a run and a kick the ball. It's freezing here at the moment, but if I can find some sun to sit in I'm happy.

The first park we went to was deserted so I kicked the ball and "trained him" as my son likes to say. We did some tackles and runs and more tackles and scrums. You know the drill. I pushed my little girl on the swing and she shrieked with delight. I decided to sit for a while in the sun whilst they played.

I could see out of the corner of my eye some Jehovah's Witness walkers doing their rounds of door knocking. And of course I attracted them because they came across the road and sat next to me. "Mind if we share your sunny bench" they said. Of course I didnt' mind, if that was all there was on their agenda.

Now you will remember a previous post of mine about this particular subject. Farmers Wife: I'm a friggin Catholic.. We chatted for a while about different things and the family were really lovely. We got talking about reading etc and the mum told me of some great books she has read and I thought about telling her I was reading The Southern Vampire Mysteries which is about bloodthirsty and sexed up horny vampires, but I didn't think that would go down so well. Then the conversation went a bit like this:-

her: I have something wonderful for you to read today. (and she starts ferreting around in her bag for this particular something)

me: oh really

her: (she produces a booklet and a brochure and starts telling me how wonderful all this is and that I can take this book and read it. It's all mine)

me: (says straight up) I'm Catholic

her: that's so wonderful. Now tell me something, is it true that the Catholic Church has been advising followers not to read the Bible? This sounds very strange.

me: (wanting to say - how the hell would I know, I don't even read the Bible) and also thinking (maybe I just might start) Well I haven't heard that at all.

her: well it seems very strange, anyway take the book and read it.

me: (putting my hand on her hand and the book) No I don't want to take the book today. Keep it for someone else who will read it.

TIME FOR A DISCLAIMER to say once again that I appreciate that every person has their own faith, and I have the right to be a Catholic just as everyone else has the right to follow whatever religion they choose.

me: (thinking this is the perfect opportunity to find out a few things that "I" don't understand about her faith) let me ask you this, why don't you celebrate Birthdays and Christmas?

her: that's a very good question, you need to go home and google all about it and you will find out these practices have Pagan origins, so it's not good to celebrate these events.

me: (now I start feeling a bit sick inside and pissed off about her tone) (and feeling like she is basically putting down "My" religion).

I finished the chat and grabbed the kids and went to another park. Now I need to get some things off my chest. And I apologize in advance if I offend anyone but some things need to be said.

- I don't appreciate being preached to and made to feel as though my faith is wrong, whilst just trying to spend some time at the park with my kids.

- how many times and in what capacity do they need to be told NO. They push and push their religion onto people and that is why they get a bad wrap.

- what gives her the right to criticize what I believe in, in a very off handed comment.

And since this is my blog and I actually am a bit teary writing this, after thinking about it and reading a bit more about the Jehovahs Witness movement and my Catholic faith, I feel I can write whatever the hell I want.

- I don't go to Church on a regular basis, nor do I read the Bible, but I am Catholic, I believe in God, Jesus Christ, and The Holy Spirit and I celebrate Christmas because that is the birth of Jesus Christ. I also celebrate Easter as Our Lord died on the cross and was resurrected three days later. And I don't eat meat on Good Friday, apart from the obvious reasons, the fact that if I did, my mother would know even though she lives 2 days drive away...

- this is how my family was brought up, and this is the faith I follow now. The teachings from when I was younger, formed the basis to why I still follow this religion.

- saying that, there are things I don't agree with regarding the Catholic Church, and I don't like Pope Benedict as he is kinda creepy.

- Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Jesus was Jehovah's first creation, that Jehovah then created everything else by means of him, and that the initial unassisted act of creation uniquely identifies Jesus as God's 'only-begotten Son'. Jesus served as a ransom sacrifice to pay for the sins of humankind. They believe that Jesus died on a single upright torture stake rather than the traditional cross. Apart from the fact I copied this, I find it really offensive.

- I can't understand how Jehovahs Witness followers deny their children the joy of Christmas, birthdays and not to mention blood transfusions even in life threatening situations.

- I have been reading about their movement, and there is so much more I disagree with, in fact I am shaking my head just reading about what they believe in, just as there are facts about my faith that others may find surprising. But everyone has the right to follow whatever religion they choose without pressure to change. And that is how I feel when these people talk to me.

I feel upset writing this, and somewhat disturbed but things need to be said, and if I can't let go here, I may as well give up. The next time I meet with Jehovahs Witness followers, I will be armed with more knowledge and I won't let myself be made to feel not worthy. Which is how I felt today.


Unknown said...

well said M and good on you for not taking the booklet!

Foursons said...

What offends me the most about this particular religion is that they find it OK to disrupt other people's lives and preach their beliefs at all costs. It doesn't matter what time, day, or holiday it is. They have no problem interrupting families and not taking "no" for an answer. They lack any kind of respect for others and show themselves to be egocentric.

Liz Mays said...

It's the pushiness that is offensive, I agree. I don't like pushiness in any regard, be it religion, politics, or whatever.

SK said...

Faith is a very personal choice. You did the right thing by not accepting the book! I never mind what religion a personal is and happy to discuss but to be attempted to be "converted" without me asking is just plain rude.

Erin said...

AMEN Mama!(from a fellow Catholic) Great Post. It's disturbing that they bothered you while at the park with the kids! I hope the day got better for you!

Superstar said...

LOL You are so right on about "belief" in what ever you want. Good for you standing up to those bible thumping pamplet people.

NOW, Just for future run in's: Prince-the artist formerly known as symbol, changed back to...is a Jehovah's witness....LOL I frequently begin and end the conversation with: "I would, but I hear that crazy looney bin psycho Prince is a member and that just can't be right...I mean, stricktly speaking, isn't pegan symbols part of why you do the religious things y'all do? HMMM Thank you, but I am full up on crazy in this house!" Swear to whatever God you believe in...they look at me so stunned and confused that, they go away.

Now w/ that being said, I had a students' father do that in a parent teacher conference...I about fell out of my chair, as he wanted me to read it and modify my lesson plans according to his religion. I had to stop the meeting and take him and his phamplet to the principal! I mean, it's PUBLIC SCHOOL, hello??? Anyway, I understand your pain.
You did great! Thumbs up from me!

Farmers Wifey said...

Thanks Mamas, I actually felt quite upset about this, but have now armed myself with lots of facts about their beliefs so that the next time they catch me I can ask THEM a few dicey questions. I mean, WTF is with them not allowing blood transfusions for their dying children????

Naomi said...

You have every right to be upset, and you are far too kind. There are millions of people who have had their lives completely destroyed by this cult. My advice is to steer completely clear of JWs. I know; I was raised one. See the blog I just started about that: http://naomi-naomiruth.blogspot.com/

Barbara said...

Well said Michelle. You did well to hold your tongue. No-one has the right to preach their belief on to anyone. I have never understood why they feel the need to be so bloody pushy. I'm glad you were able to say no and didn't accept the book. Good on you - you are more than worthy, don't ever let anyone make you feel any less *hugs*

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TheThingsIdTellYou said...

Hi Michelle,
I don't know if you'll remember me, we haven't spoken in a little under a year, as I'd stopped blogging and moved away from the blogosphere.

I do understand where you're coming from, completely. But can I say - I'm actually one of Jehovah's Witnesses. Obviously, I don't know the people involved, but it's not ok to be made to feel bad about your faith. I'm not sure that's what she was trying to do, but either way, I"m sorry you felt that way.

If you do want to talk, or ask the questions you mentioned in here, feel free to contact me {same email address as before - melissa.mitchell@live.com.au}. I know we were able to have some good talks last year and the year before and I'd like to think we could again. :) No conversion attempts, lol - you'll remember that I never tried that before.

I hope you're well. Your house is looking so beautiful!