When I was about ten years-old, my mother brought me to my first CCD class. I came home from that experience and declared that I was no longer a Catholic.
To my mother’s credit, she accepted this declaration but told me that I needed to have some kind religion in my life.
So began the process of allowing her son to choose his religion.
She brought me to several churches in the area over the next few weeks, allowing me to experience services at each one. I ultimately chose a Protestant Congregationalist church in my hometown because of it was the most basic, stripped down version of religion that I could find.
The minister also addressed the children during the service with a sermon of their own.
Just imagine: A parent not imposing her own beliefs upon her child.
It’s hard to fathom.
Unfortunately, religion did not stick with me. Today I am a reluctant atheist who would love to believe in a higher power but who finds himself unable to do so.
This is essentially how I felt when I was ten years-old, so little has changed since then.
I can’t help but think that had I been choosing a religion today, however, the choices would’ve been much more interesting.
There is The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, of course, which worships the Flying Spaghetti Monster and strongly opposes the teaching of creationism in public schools. I actually own the Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and have read it cover-to-cover at least twice and find it quite compelling, and I’m considering becoming an ordained minster of the Church, even though I am also an ordained minister of the Universal Life Church.
Then there is the Jedi Church, based upon the philosophy espoused in the Star Wars films which purports that there is one all powerful force that binds all things in the universe together. It may sound silly, but it’s currently the largest alternative religion in the world and the seventh most popular religion in the UK ,with hundreds of thousands of followers worldwide.
Had The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster or The Jedi Church existed when I was ten years-old, I might have been slightly more excited about my search for religion.
And now there is a theology class at Rutger’s University which studies the work of Bruce Springsteen. While not an actual religion (yet!), I would’ve loved the opportunity to study the work of my favorite musician in a religious context.
Who knows? Had this class existed when I was younger, maybe I could’ve founded the first Church of Thunder Road.