Saturday, April 26, 2008

My first religious experiences

Mine is not a story of someone raised in an extremely religious family, like so many others I've been reading. I'm not a pastor's son. I was never a missionary. I can count the number of times I attended church as a child on my fingers and toes. But my parents were believers and so they taught me their beliefs.

I was baptized in an Episcopal church before I was 2. I remember attending a really quaint Episcopal church, but I only remember snippets. This was around the time our dog died and this is the first time I can remember questioning the concept of Heaven. My brother and parents told me he had gone to Heaven and that Heaven was up in the sky. I remember looking out the car window and looking up at the clouds and thinking "Why don't they fall down?" Shortly after this one of my grandfathers died. He, too, went to Heaven. But not before they put his body out where people could look at it. This freaked me out and still does to this day.

Fast forward a few years and I got to attend the kind of church my mom went to as a child...Pentecostal! It scared the piss out of me! When they laid hands on my mom and she fell backward I thought they hurt her and started to cry. I think this was at night and I fell asleep at some point only to be awoken by the words "AND THE DEVIL!" screamed by the pastor. It gave the churchgoers a little comic relief to see me jump.

But other than seeing snippets of the 700 Club at my grandparent's, that was about the extent of my church attendance as a young child. I would be 12 before I went back...

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Doubting Even Thomas

The story of Thomas the Apostle is an example of a person who needs empirical evidence to believe something...and I doubt even his story. This is an account of how I went from a willing believer to a Doubting Thomas.