OMG–Religion and

Theodore Hesburgh Library, with the Word of Li...
Jesus says "it's good!"

Something I’ve noticed during my brief subscription on is that religion is playing a huge part in most of my potential bachelors’ lives.  More than likely, this can easily be attributed to the fact that I live and work in the Bible Belt.  In fact, I’ve lived here most of my life and have become accustomed to the fact that most of my friends, neighbors, and coworkers are particularly religious.

I’ve given my religious background here before, but I’ll do it again.  I was born into a non-practicing Methodist family.  We went to church on some holidays; I remember first attending church at the age of three.  It was Easter.  We colored a picture of Jesus in ascension in the Sunday School class.  I was angry because we were allowed only one crayon color for the whole page.  I didn’t know the rules, else I wouldn’t have selected yellow.  When I asked for another color, I was chastised.  Yeah, love thy neighbor.

After this experience, I began Catholic school.  And despite the fact that my family wasn’t super tied to the whole Methodist thing, I never converted.  So this made for some interesting situations.  The first week of school was awful.  I cried every day because we were forced, or so my mother thought, to visit sinners every afternoon.  I dreaded this afternoon time and begged my mother to make it stop.  As it turns out, after talking to several Sisters, it was actually “centers” of learning.  Southern accent.  And beyond that, I was often identified as the “non-Catholic” girl.  I didn’t attend Mass with my classmates.  I didn’t see them on Sundays, our parents weren’t close, I was afraid of the Jesus statue in the hallway and worst of all I ate meat on Fridays  during Lent.

It’s probably surprising to learn that after all this ‘tragedy’, the Crayola Incident, the lunches spent feeling guilty over  ham sandwiches, that I went to college and ended up with a major in Religious Studies.  Most of my courses centered around the Old Testament, but I still don’t attend church regularly nor would I consider myself well versed in The Bible or Christianity in general.  I am spiritual; I m probably not what people would consider “religious” by definition.

And yet I find myself on receiving a lot of messages from young gentlemen who openly proclaim in their profiles that they’re “dedicated to serving Jesus Christ” or “particularly active in their home church” and, my personal favorite, I actually had a junior pastor contact me.  Me.  The Blonde.  The queen of sexting, the girl who lived with The Boyfriend (decidedly not The Husband).  The girl who regularly lets the F-bomb go.  The girl who just wrote a blog post complaining about church because she totally didn’t get more than one crayon.

I think that I am self-conscious about my lack of religious background and uncertain religious future. This has to be a unique problem to those living in the south. And I had no earthly idea that I would have to resolve this insecurity in order to date.  I totally disclose my lack of serious dedication to a church on my profile.  And while I am willing to visit churches and discuss my point of view with anyone, I’m not sure how I feel about fully dedicating myself to a church.  It would take a very special place to procure my membership.

To me, my religious point of view is a pretty detailed aspect of my life–especially for something that plays such a little role for me.  It’s hard for me to define what I feel and what I am looking for in a potential match, especially when it comes to religious views.  And I honestly wonder how simply listing a religious affiliation on a profile can possibly give me a glimpse.  I mean, after all, I could very well select Methodist or Catholic, but I’m using two crayons and eating my Lunchable on Fridays…


7 thoughts on “OMG–Religion and

  1. I am very skeptical of people who talk about “serving Jesus Christ” in their Facebook profiles or say that their favorite book is The Bible. Really? Cause I’m going to bet that you haven’t read the whole Bible and that you do things—drink to excess, have premarital sex, etc.—that contradict things that Jesus said and thus serve YOURSELF. Maybe I shouldn’t be so skeptical or judgmental, but I feel like people who flaunt their religion in these ways are being disingenuous.

    I had no idea that our religious backgrounds were so similar! I wonder if my Catholic school experience would have been as scarring as yours if I’d started attending them at a younger age than I did.

    I’m not terribly religious either (even though I did consider converting to Catholicism at one point), but if I were filling out a Match profile, I’d probably state my broad religious beliefs/foundation—Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, etc.—and then briefly explain my background. That at least gives guys an insight into where you’re coming from spiritually.

    1. I considered converting to Catholicism at one point as well. I sort of got off that bandwagon for some reason. I always fear when I start thinking about going to church or getting active that it’s because I’m missing something else in my life. I don’t want to be that girl who shows up at a church to make friends and gets weirdly wrapped up in it. You know?

      xoxo The Blonde

      1. There was a lot I loved about Catholicism, but I always struggled with transubstantiation. I considered that such a big part of Catholicism that I wouldn’t convert until I had faith in it, and that never really happened. I stopped going to Mass after I started law school. (I think that not going to Church, or getting counseling, etc. while I was in law school was probably a mistake.)

  2. @Jessica – ” Cause I’m going to bet that you haven’t read the whole Bible and that you do things—drink to excess, have premarital sex, etc.—that contradict things that Jesus said and thus serve YOURSELF”
    You are right, everyone does things or things like these. The point of Christianity is that we can’t follow Jesus but He loves us anyways. I grew up Catholic (went to Catholic school for 12+Kindergarten years) and questions a lot of it. I decided that I cant make my own judgments until I read the Bible or learn more about it. So, I read the New Testament and was pretty blow away by what it said. I was surpised tha I agreed with much more than I ever thought I would. It didnt cause me to change my mind though regarding Christians who are “crazy,” I still they think are (probably even more so now since Ive read it). Anyways, I eventually chipped at at the old testament too and finally finished reading the whole thing over a year ago.

    I could say so much about the positive impact its had on my life, that is, reading / wrestling with what’s in the Bible (and I am by no means — several ppl can vouge for this — a Bible thumping judgmental Christian). There is much of it that I still don’t understand. But, to me, what I believe is clear is that God loves us and we are to love others. Its really about our relationships with other people. For some cases, a particular act is sinful and for others it isnt. I have found that there are very few actions in life which can be viewed in terms of being only sinful or non sinful. I think its a huge grey area that we have to decide for ourselves (taking responsibility — a big theme throughout the bible).

    I do believe though that there is a God and that He greatly loves and cares about us and whats to get to know us and help us each day become more of who we are designed to be.

    More at 11…

  3. I should add that I’m biased in terms of Catholicism. I would marry someone who practices it, but in all honesty, Im not a huge fan. There’s a lot of legalism in it which isnt found in the Bible at all. Some people really like the liturgy and whatnot and I think this is great, but for me, my personality is much better suited for the non-demonominational route.

    When asked to list my faith on dating websites, I will often put done something like “Evolving Christian” because it changes and will likely always change the rest of my life, but at this point, Im pretty comfortable and believe much of the Christian framework especially after reading the NIV translation of the Bible. I thought that that book describes the human condition and life better than anything Ive ever read.

    You might want to pick it up sometime and read through the New Testament, especially the Gospels, Corinthians, and Romans. Its pretty cool stuff.

    Good luck!

    1. I think it’s great that you’ve taken the time to learn about your faith, and found one that suits you.

      I ended up going to Catholic school for 8 years (5th-12th grade), and I learned a lot about doctrine, Church History, etc.—things that a lot of practicing Catholics never learn about. In 10th Grade, our Religion class was all about Scripture, and it was really interesting. I haven’t read anything close to the whole Bible, but it’s one of those things I always say I’m going to do.

      I think that faith is a never-ending struggle—and hunger—for knowledge and truth. I would guess that one reason why I’m so skeptical about people who are overtly vocally religious is because I can’t tell whether they’re truly active in their faith or just want to impress people. Showy religious displays always remind me of the parable about the ostentatious people who flaunt and brag about how much they tithe. Religion, being a deep spiritual matter, is something I’d consider private and not share with everybody—at least, not via slogans or clichés on my Facebook page. I think that actions speak louder than words, and so I’m suspicious when people go out of their way to label themselves.

  4. “What’s the difference between a cult and religion? Religions have more followers.”

    (Ducking and Running)

    I’m going to say that the religion thing is definately your bible-belt location. 90% of the women in Cleveland (again, guy, have no idea what the other guys are saying) say something along the lines of “I grew up Catholic (Jewish) (Muslim), but I don’t really attend mass (temple) . But that might change.”

    To me religion is something deeply personal — I have my beleifs and morals that drive the way I live my life, but they don’t really fall into an orginized religion. If you’re religious that’s fine (and I actually admire your ability to beleive in a being with no concrete proof of existance), but please don’t call me a sinner/immoral/try to convert me. I won’t try to convert you and I’ll try not to insult your beleifs [but I will eat bacon. That’s a deal breaker.

    In any event it’s rarely a good first date subject.

    (Full disclosure: My mom’s side of the family are dedicated Roman Catholics — my grandmother still attends mass daily; my dad’s side of the family settles somewhere between athiestic and agnostic. I usually lean theistic-agnostic)

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